B.S. Mathematics, Bowling Green State University
J.D. University of Michigan Law School
Ph.D. Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
One of my primary aims in teaching is to enable students to engage in critical analysis and complex thinking on their own. While using various techniques to that end, I favor an interactive approach combining my presentation with student participation. As many of my subjects lend themselves to debating opposing positions, I encourage students to evaluate conflicting evidence and consider the merits of different views from a variety of perspectives. As my courses often address controversial issues, I have sought to create an environment in my classes where students are comfortable doing that. I have taught previously at the University of California Santa Barbara and the University of Miami, Florida. I was also awarded a Fulbright grant to teach in the Graduate School of Law and the Department of American Studies at Tohoku University, Japan. My earlier work experience has provided me with a practical understanding of law and government which I have sought to share with my students. After serving as a law clerk to Judge R. Lanier Anderson, III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, I engaged in a litigation practice in Washington, D.C. which ranged from briefing the U.S. Supreme Court to pro bono criminal defense. I also provided volunteer legal counsel to presidential candidate Al Gore in his 1988 campaign.
BIS 335 Human Rights in America
BIS 338 Political Institutions and Processes
BIS 393 Special Topics: Public Controversies and the Supreme Court
BIS 393 Special Topics: Race, Crime, and Law
BIS 415 Public Policy and Law
My principal areas of specialization are in constitutional history, American political thought, human rights, civil liberties, along with law and race. Blending political, legal, and historical analysis, my research generally explores the role of law and courts in American political development. My work emphasizes the cultural setting in which law develops and the historical context in which courts operate, instead of viewing legal doctrine as isolated from social forces and the political process. My research orientation is reflected in Justice Curtis in the Civil War Era: At the Crossroads of American Constitutionalism (University of Virginia Press, 2005). In this book, I used Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis, best known for dissenting in the Dred Scott case, to examine the character of American constitutionalism, especially during times of political crisis and social upheaval. I have continued to develop this theme while addressing current issues, particularly involving presidential wartime powers.
- “The War Crimes Trial That Never Was: An Inquiry into the War on Terrorism, the Laws of War, and Presidential Accountability.” University of San Francisco Law Review 45 (2011): 959-1004.
- “The Illusion of Accountability: The Idea of an American Truth Commission on Torture.” Global Dialogue, vol.12 (winter/spring 2010).
- “What Would Warren Do? A Brief Historical Comment on the Seattle Schools Case.” Tennessee Law Review 76 (2008): 159-86.
- “Mad about Yoo, or Why Worry about the Next Unconstitutional War?” Journal of Law & Politics 24 (2008): 93-128.
- “Brown v. Board of Education and Judicial Craftmanship.” Education Law Review 35 (2006): 178-90.
- Justice Curtis in the Civil War Era: At the Crossroads of American Constitutionalism (University of Virginia Press, 2005).
- “War, Politics, and the U.S. Constitution Today.” Nomos 16 (2005): 41-50.
- “Justice Curtis’s Dissent in the Dred Scott Case: An Interpretive Study.” Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 24 (1997): 509-44.
- “Double Jeopardy and Federal Prosecution after State Jury Acquittal.” Michigan Law Review 80 (1982): 1073-94.