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Prof. Peppers Recogized for Influential Political Science Work

March 30, 2014 Leave a comment
Visiting Professor Peppers

Visiting Professor Peppers

In the January 2014 issue of PS: Political Science & Politics, Washington & Lee visiting professor of law Todd Peppers was recognized for his article “Picking Federal Judges: A Note on Policy and Partisan Selection Agendas” (with M. Giles & V. Hettinger).    Authors Salmon A. Shomade, Roger E. Hartley, and Lisa M. Holmes, in their article “Lower Federal Court Judicial Confirmation Fights: A Critical Review of the Empirical Literature and Future Research Directions” identified the work as the second-most influential political science article on lower court confirmation politics in the last twenty years.  It has been cited over 200 times.

Professor Peppers co-authored and published “Picking Federal Judges: A Note on Policy and Partisan Selection Agendas” in Political Research Quarterly in 2001.

From the abstract:

The importance of lower federal courts in the policymaking process has stimulated extensive research programs focused on the process of selecting the judges of these courts and the factors influencing their decisions. The present study employs judicial decisionmaking in the U.S. Courts of Appeals as a window through which to reexamine the politics of selection to the lower courts. It differs from previous studies of selection in three ways. First, it takes advantage of recent innovations in measurement to go beyond reliance on political party as a measure of the preferences of actors in the selection process. Second, employing these new measures it examines the relative effects of the operation of policy and partisan agendas in the selection process. Third, a more complex model of selection is assessed than in most previous studies-one that expressly examines the role of senators and senatorial preferences in the selection process. The results clearly suggest that the politics of selection differ dramatically depending upon whether or not senatorial courtesy is in operation. The voting behavior of Courts of Appeals judges selected without senatorial courtesy is consistent with the operation of a presidential policy agenda. Among judges selected when senatorial courtesy is in play, the linkage between presidential preferences and judicial outcomes disappears.

Visiting Prof. Todd Peppers to participate in Supreme Court Clerk Conference

February 14, 2014 Leave a comment
ToddPeppers

Visiting Prof. Todd Peppers

Visiting law professor Todd peppers is a co-organizer and participant at the upcoming symposium Judicial Assistants or Junior Judges: the Hiring, Utilization and Influence of Law Clerks.

The symposium will be held on April 11-12, 2014 at the Marquette University Law School. During the symposium, judicial biographers, journalists, legal scholars, social scientists, and judges will discuss a variety of issues related to law clerks – from how law clerks are selected (including issues of racial and academic diversity) and relied upon by biographers and journalists to the various job duties given to law clerks and the related question of law clerk influence. The Marquette Law Review will subsequently publish a symposium edition, containing essays written by many of the participants.

Visiting Professor Todd Peppers to Publish Article Analyzing Supreme Court Justice Attendance at State of the Union Addresses

November 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Prof. Peppers

W&L Visiting Professor Todd Peppers will publish “Of Potted Plants and Political Images: The Supreme Court and the State of the Union Address,” which will appear in print in the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy (Volume XXII, No. 1 (2012): 49-81).

The article, which was co-written by Emory University political scientist Micheal Giles, uses original data to test hypotheses regarding judicial attendance at the annual State of the Union address. Their interest in this topic was sparked by an incident at the 2010 State of the Union address, where Justice Alito was criticized for physically reacting to a statement that President Obama made during his speech about the Citizens United decision. In the months following the 2010 address, several conservative justices spoke out in favor of Justice Alito and in opposition to the tradition of the justices attending the annual address.

Peppers and his co-author spent six months coding judicial attendance at every state of the union address, from Woodrow Wilson to Barack Obama. Using this original data, they examined whether judicial attendance at the annual address is a function of ideological harmony between the justice and the president (in other words, conservative justices are more likely to attend addresses given by conservative presidents than liberal justices). As they suspected, they found that judicial attendance at the State of the Union address has dramatically declined over time. As for why, they found little support for the “ideological harmony” hypothesis – finding instead that attendance is more likley related to the age and judicial tenure of the justices (the longer on the bench, the less likely justices are to attend the State of the Union address).

Dr. Todd C. Peppers is the Henry H. and Trudye Fowler Associate Professor of Public Affairs at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

Visiting Professor Todd Peppers to Publish Article on Leaks by Supreme Court Clerks

November 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Visiting Professor Peppers

On Wednesday, the Charleston Law Review will publish an article by W&L Visiting Professor Todd Peppers in its Supreme Court preview edition entitled “Of Leakers and Legal Briefers: The Modern Supreme Court Law Clerk” (Charleston Law Review Volume VII (2012): 95-109.  It uses the recent leaks surrounding the Obamacare decision, and the allegations that Supreme Court law clerks were the source of the leaks, to discuss the role that law clerks have played on the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts.

Dr. Todd C. Peppers is the Henry H. and Trudye Fowler Associate Professor of Public Affairs at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia.

Prof. Todd Peppers to be featured at Georgetown Law Supreme Court Book Forum

August 30, 2012 Leave a comment

The Supreme Court Institute at the Georgetown University Law Center will be sponsoring a Supreme Court Book Forum on Monday, October 22, 2012, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Georgetown University’s Gewirz Student Center.  At the Forum, the following authors will discuss their recent publications on the Supreme Court:

Clare Cushman of the Supreme Court Historical Society, author of Courtwatchers: Eyewitness Accounts in Supreme Court History (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011).  Ms. Cushman is also the author of The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies (CQ  Press, 2012) and Supreme Court Decisions and Women’s Rights (CQ Press, 2010).

Todd C. Peppers of the Washington and Lee University School of Law, co-editor of Inside Chambers: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices (UVA Press, 2012).  He is also the author of Courtiers of the Marble Palace: The Rise and Influence of the Supreme Court Law Clerk (Stanford University Press, 2006).

Jeffrey Toobin, New Yorker writer and author of The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court (Doubleday, 2012).  He is also the author of The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court (Doubleday, 2007).

Artemus Ward of Northern Illinois University, co-editor of Inside Chambers: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices (UVA Press, 2012).

The event will be moderated by Tony Mauro of the National Law Journal.

W&L Law Faculty Present at SEALS

August 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Several Washington and Lee Law School faculty members presented last week at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS). In addition, David Millon, J. B. Stombock Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University School of Law, took the helm as President of SEALS for the 2012-13 term.

In addition to his duties with the organization during the conference, Millon also served as a panelist in a session on how recent Supreme Court decisions and congressional legislation are affecting business and regulatory issues and in a discussion group focused on teaching business law in a new economic environment. Other presentations by W&L faculty included:

  • Johanna Bond, who participated in a discussion group on contemporary issues in gender and the law.
  • Christopher Bruner, who presented a paper during a panel on recent developments in corporate governance.
  • Mark Drumbl, who participated in a discussion group on the growing importance of international matters to legal education.
  • Jill Fraley, who presented her research on maps as legal arguments in a new scholars panel.
  • Brant Hellwig, who participated in a discussion group on tax reform in 2012.
  • John Keyser and Todd Peppers, who participated in a panel on social science and the law.
  • J.D. King, who participated in a panel on implicit racial bias in the criminal justice system.
  • Joan Shaughnessy, who served as a moderator of a new scholars panel.
  • Robin Wilson, who participated in a panel on cutting edge issues in family law.

Prof. Peppers on Supreme Court Clerks

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Todd PeppersProfessor Todd C. Peppers, Lecturer in Law, recently published his book, In Chambers: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices. The book is being published by the University of Virginia Press.

Professor Peppers co-edited the book with Artemus Ward. It is a collection of essays on law clerks and their justices by a variety of former law clerks, legal scholars, and social scientists. Prof. Peppers also contributed several essays to the book, including an essay on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her law clerks, which was based on an interview he had with the Justice.

The book may be found on Amazon.

Prof. Peppers on Judicial Humor

December 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Todd PeppersProfessor Todd C. Peppers, Lecturer in Law, recently published his article, Did You Hear the One About Chief Justice Burger and the Itinerant Litigant?, 15 Green bag 2d 25 (2011), in The Green Bag Journal of Law.

In the article, Prof. Peppers addresses the topic of Supreme Court humor. Rather than cover humor displayed by the justices, he focuses on the clerks. Prof. Peppers uses original documents and records held by the Powell Archives, housed at the Washington and Lee School of Law. He uncovers a wealth of humor and history during Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.’s tenure on the Court and shares it in the article.

Prof. Peppers on the Supreme Court

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Todd PeppersProfessor Todd C. Peppers, Lecturer in Law, recently published his article, Till Death Do Us Part: Chief Justices and the United States Supreme Court, which he co-authored with Chad M. Oldfather, Professor of Law at Marquette University. The article was published in excerpt in the Marquette Lawyer and will be published in full in a forthcoming issue of the Marquette Law Review.

The article looks at the institutional rules and norms surrounding the illness and retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justices, with a special emphasize on the recent illness of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. The excerpt picks up after the authors’ account of Chief Justice Rehnquist’s death in office and concludes before their focus on the administrative role of the Chief Justice of the United States, which is unique among members of the Supreme Court, and their proposals for reform.

You can find the excerpt here.

Prof. Peppers on Hugo Black

May 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Todd PeppersProfessor Todd C. Peppers, Lecturer in Law, recently published his article, Justice Hugo Black and His Law Clerks: Match-Making and Match Point, 36 J. Sup. Ct. Hist. 48 (2011), in the Journal of Supreme Court History.

During his study of Supreme Court law clerks over the past decade, Prof. Peppers has found that the most fascinating aspect of the clerkship institution lies in the personal bonds that form between the Justices and their clerks. To that end, he spent time reviewing the law-clerk files in the personal papers of Justice Hugo Black, as well as talking with his children and his former law clerks. The article discusses two main elements of the clerkship experience that may not have otherwise been fleshed out: the Justice’s role as an Alabama-born Pygmalion to a generation of young clerks and the important role that tennis played in the clerkship process.

You can find the article here.

Congratulations to Professor Peppers.

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