photo of the United States Supreme Court Building

New Directions for a New Supreme Court?


The departures of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and President Bush’s successful nominations of John G. Roberts, Jr. and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. to replace them, have focused America’s attention on the role and impact of the nation’s highest court. Professor Choper will investigate whether the Roberts Court will be more “liberal” or “conservative” than it’s predecessor and what those terms really mean in respect to the Supreme Court. Professor Silverstein will discuss how these changes are likely to affect our lives and our law in areas ranging from abortion and property rights to war powers, federalism, and political participation.


Jesse Choper

Choper served as law clerk to Chief Justice Earl Warren of the U.S. Supreme Court following graduation from law school. He taught at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania from 1957 to 1960, and at the University of Minnesota Law School from 1961 to 1965. He joined the Boalt faculty in 1965.

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Gordon Silverstein

Silverstein is an assistant professor of political science at Berkeley where he teaches courses in American constitutional law, American political thought, comparative constitutionalism, and the separation of powers. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is the author of Law’s Allure: How Law Shapes, Constrains, Saves and Kills Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2009), which has been awarded the C.

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