Aug 29, 2008    #085
Contact: Laura Pate Byerley

Red State v. Blue State Conference Examines Judicial Role UMKC School of Law Hosts Sept. 12 Discussion

At a time when the United States Supreme Court has issued a series of 5-4 decisions that appear to split on party lines, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law and the UMKC Law Review will present “Red State v. Blue State: The Judicial Role in an Era of Partisanship.” The conference will take place at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 12 at the School of Law’s E.E. Thompson Courtroom, 500 E. 52nd St. Tickets are not required, but RSVPs are appreciated. RSVP by calling 816-235-1644.

The conference will examine how partisanship affects the operation of the courts, how judicial decision-making has changed in response to partisan attacks and how to evaluate the intrinsically subjective topic of judicial effectiveness, said professor June Carbone, the Edward A. Smith/Missouri Chair of Law, the Constitution and Society at the UMKC School of Law.

“We have planned the conference to drive home the point that partisan divisions affect the gamut of cases, from high profile cases on abortion to the more numerous family law disputes on custody and cohabitation,” said Carbone, who is coordinating the conference.

Suzanne Reynolds, a professor at the Wake Forest University School of Law and candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court, will present the keynote speech. Reynolds drafted statutes that modernized alimony and adoption law, and she co-founded a domestic violence program that the American Bar Association recognized for providing legal assistance to the poor.

The panel includes Chief Justice Laura Denvir Stith of the Missouri Supreme Court; Circuit Judge Jon R. Gray, who recently retired from the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit Court in Jackson County, Mo.; U.S. District Judge Ortrie Smith of the Western District of Missouri; and Judge Melissa Taylor Standridge of the Kansas Court of Appeals.

Other speakers include Naomi Cahn, professor at George Washington University Law School; Mitu Gulati, professor at the Duke University School of Law; Vivian Hamilton, professor at William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law; Bradley Joondeph, professor at Santa Clara University; David Levi, dean of the Duke University School of Law; Linda C. McClain, professor at the Boston University School of Law; and Neil Siegel, professor at the Duke University School of Law.

Missouri law professionals can earn seven hours of Continuing Legal Education credits by attending the conference.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Celebrating 75 years, UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences, and urban engagement.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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