University of Vermont

Dean's Lecture to Talk Transformation of the Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has undergone a major transformation over the course of its 224-year history. Between 1789 and 1962, 47 percent of appointees to the court had held major political posts in their pre-court careers. Over the past 50 years, presidents have predominantly filled court vacancies with federal judges having clearly confirmed conservative track records. 

This has altered the national perception of the court and led to its diminished public reputation, says Professor Garrison Nelson, who will discuss the topic in the fall 2013 College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Lecture, to take place Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. in Memorial Lounge, Waterman Building.

The lecture, "The Court Transformed: How It Happened; Why It Matters," is free and open to the public.

Nelson, professor of political science, has been a UVM faculty member since 1968. He is the editor, author, and co-author of ten books, most recently the seven-volume Committees in the U.S. Congress, 1789-2010; The Austin-Boston Connection: Five Decades of House Democratic Leadership 1937-1989 (2009); and Pathways to the Supreme Court: From the Arena to the Monastery (forthcoming). He is the author of many articles in both scholarly journals and the popular press, and he is a widely quoted political commentator. Nelson was a 2009 recipient of the Kroepsch-Maurice Teaching Excellence Award.  

A recording of the lecture will be made available at the College of Arts and Science online media blog.