University of Pittsburgh
July 13, 2005

University of Pittsburgh Experts Available to Comment on Bush's Nominee to the Supreme Court

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-With the retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, speculation has begun about whom Bush will nominate to fill her seat. Several University of Pittsburgh School of Law faculty members are leading national authorities available to comment on O'Connor's replacement and how the new justice might affect such issues as abortion, the death penalty, affirmative action, the nomination of a Latino candidate, the separation of Church and state, women and gay rights, and prisoner abuse. Following are the names of the faculty and their areas of expertise.

Arthur Hellman, Professor of Law and Sally Ann Semenko Endowed Chair

B.A., Harvard College; J.D., Yale University

Office: 412-648-1340; Home: 412-521-0756 (late morning and early evening)

Hellman is nationally recognized as a leading scholar of the federal courts. One key factor that would weigh heavily against Bush's nomination of Alberto Gonzales, Hellman feels, is that Gonzales would not be able to participate in key cases, because he would already have discussed them as attorney general at the executive level.

Hellman has been an active participant in numerous institutional enterprises aimed at improving the administration of justice, at both the state and federal levels. His empirical studies on the operation of precedent in the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal courts of appeals have been used as a basis for policy decisions both by Congress and the federal judiciary. In 1999, Hellman was appointed to serve on a special Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Evaluation Committee that examined all aspects of the court's operations; Hellman was the only academic on the committee. He is the author of several books, including Restructuring Justice: The Innovations of the Ninth Circuit and the Future of the Federal Courts (Cornell University Press, 1990) and The First Amendment: Cases, Materials, and Problems (Lexis Publishing Co., 2002).

Welsh White, Professor of Law and Bessie McKee Walthour Endowed Chair

B.A., Harvard College; L.L.B., University of Pennsylvania

Office: 412-648-1374; Home: 412-362-7053

White is acknowledged as a leading authority on the death penalty and criminal procedure. He can comment on how the new justice might tip the balance on Miranda or search-and-seizure issues.

White is the author of three books on capital punishment, among them The Death Penalty in the Nineties: An Examination of the Modern System of Capital Punishment (University of Michigan Press, 1991), as well as numerous essays and scholarly articles on evidence and criminal procedure. White has spent the last 10 years studying police interrogations and confessions. In his book Miranda's Waning Protections: Police Interrogation Practices after Dickerson (University of Michigan Press, 2001), White examines Miranda-the U.S. Supreme Court case that established rights of suspects upon arrest-and other Supreme Court confession cases, emphasizing the conflict between law enforcement and civil liberties.

Richard Delgado, Distinguished Professor of Law and Derrick Bell Fellow

A.B., University of Washington; J.D., University of California, Berkeley

Home: 412-687-0803 (From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.); Office: 412-648-1434

A leader of the critical race theory movement, Delgado hopes that conservative Latinos like Gonzales or Miguel Estrada are not nominated to the court. He cautions that a young justice would serve on the court for a long time, making it less likely that another Latino would be named to the court for many years.

Designated as one of three leading Latino public intellectuals by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Delgado has written more than 100 journal articles and 15 books, which have received numerous national book prizes, including six Gustavus Myers awards for outstanding work on human rights in North America. Delgado's The Coming Race War (New York University Press, 1996) was selected by the American Library Association as its Choice Outstanding Academic Book, and his The Rodrigo Chronicles (New York University Press, 1995) was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Both books also won the Gustavus Myers award.