Professor Thomas Keck, chair of Constitutional Law and Politics at Syracuse University and author of “The Most Activist Supreme Court in History: The Road to Modern Judicial Conservatism,” will be a guest lecturer on campus this Friday, Sept. 17. His talk, “Abortion, Affirmative Action, Gay Rights and Gun Rights: Constitutional Politics in Polarized Times,” will take place at 3 p.m., in the Sanford Room.
Published in 2004, Keck’s book traces the legal and political forces that have shaped the modern Court. In it, “Keck argues that the tensions within modern conservatism have produced a court that exercises its own power quite actively, on behalf of both liberal and conservative ends. Despite the long-standing conservative commitment to restraint, the justices of the Rehnquist Court have stepped in to settle divisive political conflicts over abortion, affirmative action, gay rights, presidential elections, and much more.”
Keck has been featured in the American Political Science Review, and earned the Houghton Mifflin Award for the best journal article on law and courts written by a political scientist in 2007 for his original thought on the competing factors of partisan loyalty and legal obligation on Supreme Court decision making. He has been published in the Law and Society Review, writing on the many policy changes that have resulted from recent litigation on LGBT rights and is currently writing a book on the courts and the culture wars during the Clinton, Bush and Obama eras.
Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science Kevin Dunn and Interim Associate Provost Margueritte Murphy co-organized the event.