Rosenfield Program to Host Symposium on U.S. Courts

September 14, 2023

Grinnell College is excited to welcome a series of speakers to campus to participate in an upcoming symposium on U.S. courts. The Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights has invited four professionals to speak in a symposium titled Courts in the U.S.: Modern Challenges, Historical Foundation. The symposium will begin Sept. 21, featuring one speaker each week through Oct. 4.

Mario Barnes

“Politics, Ethical Quandies and the Demise of the Stare Decisis and the Fragile Legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court”

11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21
HSSC A1231

Mario L. Barnes is a Professor of Law at UC Irvine School of Law where he returned in spring 2022 after serving as the Dean and Professor of Law at the University of Washington School of Law from 2018 to 2021. At UC Irvine, he is co-director of the Center on Law, Equality and Race. Professor Barnes is a nationally recognized scholar for his research on the legal and social implications of race and gender, primarily in the areas of employment, education, constitutional, criminal and military law. He is one of the leaders within the school of academics seeking to build stronger connections between empirical studies and critical race theory. He writes and teaches in the areas of criminal law, constitutional law, national security law, and race and the law. His work has appeared in leading law reviews and sociolegal journals. Professor Barnes earned his bachelor’s degree in 1990 and a juris doctorate in 1995 from UC Berkeley. He earned an LL.M. in 2004 from the University of Wisconsin, where he was a William H. Hastie Teaching Fellow. Professor Barnes is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Distinguished Fellow of the National Institute of Military Justice. He received the Association of American Law Schools Clyde Ferguson Award in 2015 and was honored with the AALS Derrick A. Bell Jr. Award in 2008. In February of 2023, he was awarded the American Bar Foundation Fellows Outstanding Scholar Award.

Judge Kimberly J. Mueller

“Judicial Ethics: The Perspective of a Federal District Judge”

4:15 p.m. Tuesday, September 26
HSSC A1231

Chief United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller was appointed by President Barack Obama as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California on Dec. 21, 2010. She assumed the role of Chief Judge on Jan. 1, 2020, based on seniority. Prior to her appointment, Chief Judge Mueller served as a Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District’s Sacramento Courthouse from March 2003 to December 2010. Chief Judge Mueller previously served on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Conference Executive Committee, Education Committee and ADR Committee. From 2015 to 2019, she served on the Board of the Federal Judicial Center. As a Magistrate Judge, she played a lead role in establishing the Eastern District’s pro bono panel of attorneys available for appointment in prisoner and pro se cases. She helped

hire the District’s dedicated ADR and Pro Bono Coordinator and, as chief, supported making the position permanent. Chief Judge Mueller helped co-found The Justice Anthony M. Kennedy Library and Learning Center, located since March 2013 in the Ninth Circuit Library at Sacramento’s Robert T. Matsui U.S. Courthouse. She received her B.A. cum laude from Pomona College in 1981 and her juris doctorate from Stanford Law School in 1995. She maintains her chambers in Sacramento.

Rachel Shelden

“Ethics, Power and the Political Culture of the 19th-Century Supreme Court”

4:15 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 27
HSSC A1231

Rachel Shelden is director of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center and an associate professor of history at Pennsylvania State University. Her work sits at the intersection of political, constitutional, cultural, and legal history. She is the author of “Civil War,” published by UNC Press in 2013, and the co-editor of “A Political Nation: New Directions in Mid-Nineteenth-Century American Political History,” published by UVA Press in 2012. With support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, the Virginia Historical Society and the Washington Library at Mount Vernon, Shelden's current book project examines the political world of U.S. Supreme Court justices in the nineteenth century.

Kathie Obradovich

“Judicial Selection and Retention in Iowa”

4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4
HSSC A1231

Kathie Obradovich is editor-in-chief for Iowa Capital Dispatch, part of a national not-for-profit news organization that launched in January 2020. She leads an experienced staff covering state news and politics and writes a weekly column. Dozens of Iowa newspapers, broadcast stations and news sites regularly republish Iowa Capital Dispatch content. Obradovich has more than 35 years of reporting experience in Iowa. She worked for 16 years at the Des Moines Register, most recently as opinion editor and political columnist. Between 1987 and 2003, she worked as a reporter and editor in the Des Moines Bureau for the Lee Enterprises newspapers in Iowa and at the Quad-City Times in Davenport. She has been a regular reporter on Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press" and a frequent guest on other state, national and international news programs. She has served as a lecturer for Iowa State University's Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

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