The Department of Government
The Department of Government

Pi Sigma Alpha Hosts Panel on Future of the Supreme Court

Fri, April 24, 2009

Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society, along with the Department of Government, yesterday hosted a panel about the future of the Supreme Court, featuring Sarah Weddington and H.W. Perry, Jr.

Weddington recounted her experience arguing Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court in 1971 and 1972. You can listen to Weddington argue the case at The Oyez Project.

Perry highlighted the strategic dilemmas justices face when deciding when to step down, as justices must calculate how the timing of their departure affects who replaces them. Perry also raised the question of whether President Obama might return the country to an era of Supreme Court justices being selected from elsewhere than the federal judiciary.

Regarding specific issues, Perry noted that despite Chief Justice Roberts signaling his desire to preside over a more incremental, less politically involved court, we can reasonably anticipate a major decision impacting affirmative action.

The country’s first chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha began in 1920 at the University of Texas at Austin. Jeffrey Marsh, Department of Government academic advisor, is the current chapter advisor. Tressa Westerman is the current vice president. Jamie Brod, president, and Garrick Smith, treasurer, emceed the event.

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