KU News Service

Constitutional law experts available to discuss ongoing Supreme Court vacancy

Tue, 03/01/2016

LAWRENCE — The debate over a successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia continues now into its second week. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet today with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley. Republicans have vowed not to hold hearings or meet with a potential nominee. Two University of Kansas law professors and experts in constitutional law are available to speak with media about the ongoing situation and what it means for the Supreme Court.

Richard Levy and Stephen McAllister can discuss the Constitution, the Supreme Court and effects the ongoing disagreement can have on American law

Richard Levy, J.B. Smith Professor of Constitutional Law, can discuss the Supreme Court, controversial decisions, Supreme Court succession, the Constitution’s role in succession, the Senate’s role in confirming new justices and related topics.

He speaks frequently with media on constitutional topics and cases, such as school finance litigation, abortion rights and other controversial decisions. He joined the KU Law faculty in 1985 and has served as a clerk for Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit. In teaching and research, he has focused on constitutional law, administrative law and government institutions. A prolific scholar, he was named the Postlethwaite Research Fellow, 1996-1999, and was named the inaugural J.B. Smith Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law in 2007.

Stephen McAllister, the E.S. & Tom W. Hampton Distinguished Professor of Law, can discuss Scalia’s legacy, what a prolonged replacement process could mean for the court, how the court operating with eight justices affects decisions and related topics.

McAllister clerked for justices Byron White and Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court while Scalia was a member of the high court. He is an expert in both federal and state constitutional law as well as Supreme Court history and practice. He is also the solicitor general of Kansas and has argued before the Supreme Court nine times, most recently appearing before the court twice in one week in October 2015. He has written on a wide variety of constitutional topics including affirmative action, capital punishment, federalism, freedom speech and the powers of Congress.

To schedule an interview with Levy and/or McAllister, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or

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