Two professors from the Washington College of Law were featured in news articles for Thomson Reuters and the Los Angeles Times about the Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor. The articles were picked up by more than 100 other news outlets collectively, including Forbes, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun. "The Democrats are trying to say this is a great nominee because she's got great experience and this incredible life," Stephen Wermiel, a law professor, told Thomson Reuters. "The Republicans want to say that shouldn't matter. If you are telling us that her life story matters then we are concerned." Amanda Frost, a law professor, told the Los Angeles Times that Sotomayor "will be a moderate liberal who favors narrow decisions, not all that different from [Justices Ruth Bader] Ginsburg or [Stephen G.] Breyer," and that her opinions "reveal her to be someone who respects the limits of the judicial role." (7/12/09)
On national and local television networks as well as an international news outlet, AU professors discussed the president’s trip to Africa, the state of the Senate conformation hearings, and the roles of ideology and diversity in George W. Bush's judicial appointments.
Obama Visits Ghana
George Ayittey, an economist-in-residence, was on C-SPAN’s nationally-broadcast public affairs talk show,Washington Journal, to discuss President Obama’s historic trip to Ghana. "There are many reasons why he chose Ghana, number one to showcase the good governance there and that's number one, and Ghana is one of the first countries which gained independence and it's all so symbolic,” he said. “I think that it's for whole of Africa and to showcase Ghana as a model of democracy, and I am hoping they will emulate Ghana’s example." (7/11/09)
Paying for Health Care
Robert Carroll, an executive-in-residence with the School of Public Affairs, was a guest on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer to discuss the tax implications of the Obama administration’s proposed health plan. "Republicans have been accused of saying that tax cuts pay for themselves. We need to be careful that spending increases pay for themselves," he said. "There are important parts of the tax system that I think may have contributed to the [cost of health care] problem that I do think we need to take a very close look at." (7/15/09)
Ideology Over Diversity
Jennifer Segal Diascro, a professor of government, released a report coauthored with a political science professor at Oregon State University that George W. Bush's judicial appointments stressed ideology over diversity. The research, explored in an Asian News International article, stated that 78 percent of Bush’s appointees were men, 22 percent were women, and 82 percent were Caucasian—minorities made up 18 percent. "Bush cared about diversity, but it was not his first priority," Diascro said. "There is a tendency, and we see this across the political spectrum, to use bench appointments to gain clout with certain voters." (7/12/09)
Faculty & Quotes
And in other news, AU's community contributed to the discussion of political, national, and international issues:
Money for College
Paula Warrick, director of the office of merit awards, was quoted in a Kiplinger article, which was posted online this week and will be available in print August 1, about tips on getting the most out of scholarships and financial aid for prospective graduate students. "Developing relationships with faculty who will support your application is critical,” she said, referring to independent fellowships. “You need to start building those relationships right away." (8/1/09)
A Legal Assassination?
Kenneth Anderson, a law professor, was quoted in a New York Times article about the legalities behind the Central Intelligence Agency’s plans to kill senior Qaeda terrorists in the weeks following the September 11, 2001, attacks—plans that were never executed. "In political terms, there’s a real difference," he said. "The missile feels more like regular warfare, even if it’s carried out by the C.I.A." (7/13/09)
Moms in Politics
Karen O’Connor, former director of the Women in Politics Institute, was quoted in an Associated Press article about the double standards and pressures women in politics face as they juggle a demanding job and motherhood. The article was picked up by more than 90 news outlets, including Forbes,Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and the Miami Herald. "From the minute Sarah Palin was named to be on the McCain ticket, the question was, 'Oh my God, she has five children, how is she going to combine running a campaign and having five kids?'" O'Connor said. "Many women—and maybe more than men—they sit there and say, 'Is this worth it?'" (7/15/09)
NAACP Turns 100
Darren Hutchinson, a law professor, was quoted in a Washington Post article about the new obstacles facing the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as the organization turns 100 years old. "A lot of people are tired of talking about race," he said. "They have to find a new language for dealing with these issues." (7/11/09)
A Positive Turning Point
William LeoGrande, dean of the School of Public Affairs, was quoted in a Miami Herald article about the future of Honduras with the presence of Costa Rican President Oscar Arias serving as mediator, following the oust of Honduran President Manual Zalaya. ''He was very skilled in getting the various warring parties together in Central America and convincing presidents to accept settlements that were arguably not in their interests,'' LeoGrande said, adding that Arias also brings the skill of refusing to accept a decline to his political table dealings. "He's adept at identifying the commonalities in people's stated positions and then holding them to those," he said.(7/15/09)
Investigation Not Likely
David Lublin, a professor of government, was quoted in a Las Vegas Sun article about the unlikelihood that a formal investigation into the actions of Sen. John Ensign would be launched. Ensign refused to resign when details of his extramarital affair with his former campaign treasurer surfaced. "One gets the sense the Senate would rather have the public process of the person not getting reelected," he said. (7/11/09)
Was It All Made Up?
Howard McCurdy, a space policy expert, was quoted in an Internet Broadcasting Service article about the conspiracy theory that NASA fabricated its 1969 moon landing for television. The article was picked up by more than 20 online news outlets, including ABC, CBS and NBC affiliate stations. "We haven't been back (to the moon) in 40 years -- that encourages the same kind of myth-making," he said. "The trick to spinning a conspiracy theory is taking a little kernel of truth and weaving a fable around it."(7/16/09)
Calling a Truce?
Robert Pastor, a professor of international relations, was quoted in a Thomson Reuters article about the possible improvement of relations between the United States and Latin America. "The legacy of the Bush administration is still so heavy and the agenda of the Obama administration is so extensive," he said. "It will take some time before you can discern the differences in approaches which I think will be inevitable." (7/13/09)