[CUA Office of Public Affairs]


                                                                                                Sept. 9, 2005



Experts on Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings Available at CUA


Experts at The Catholic University of America are available to discuss the confirmation hearings for federal appellate judge John G. Roberts Jr., nominated by President George W. Bush to succeed the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. CUA experts also can talk about the ongoing legal issues facing the court that will impact the selection of a new justice. For assistance in reaching sources, contact Katie Lee or Chris Harrison at 202-319-5600.



ABORTION, HEALTH CARE AND WELFARE REFORM — Helen M. Alvaré, associate professor at CUA’s Columbus School of Law, can discuss Roberts’ judicial record. Also a legal expert on cases involving reproductive technologies, Alvaré previously worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, first in the Office of General Counsel and later as the director of information and planning for the bishops’ pro-life secretariat. Alvaré testified on behalf of the bishops before federal congressional committees and lobbied members of Congress on federal legislation. Alvaré, who has extensive national media experience, served as a regular commentator for ABC News at the time of the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.


Alvaré can be reached at 202-319-5146 (office) or by e-mail: alvare@cua.edu. 



JUDICIAL PHILOSOPHIES OF THE COURT — Dennis Coyle, associate professor of politics and visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is an expert on the judicial philosophies of Supreme Court justices, the confirmation process and on constitutional law, particularly property rights, federalism, the First Amendment and the equal protection clause. He is the author of “Property Rights and the Constitution” and, most recently, articles on land use regulations, the standards of scrutiny applied by the Supreme Court, and Justice Felix Frankfurter.


Coyle can be reached at 202-319-5813 (office) or 301-471-3344 (mobile) or by e-mail at: coyle@cua.edu.



SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE — Robert A. Destro, professor at CUA’s Columbus School of Law, is also a civil rights expert and co-author of the leading law school textbook on religious liberty. He was a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1983 to 1989, and has written and lectured extensively on the relationship of the Supreme Court to what the late Justice Robert Jackson called the “power politics” of judicial review — a topic that is expected to be at the forefront during the confirmation hearings for Roberts. Destro, who also has extensive media experience, served as a regular commentator on NPR’s “All Things Considered” during the 2000 election litigation, and has, most recently, appeared on the Fox News Channel and CNN.


Destro can be reached at 202-905-6064 (mobile) or 202-319-5202 (office) or by e-mail: destro@law.edu.



CONGRESSIONAL POLITICS — Matthew Green, assistant professor of politics, is an expert on congressional politics, partisanship and party conflict, and presidential-congressional relations. He has been a Brookings Institution Research Fellow, and his research has appeared in the journals “Legislative Studies Quarterly” and “Electoral Studies.” Before receiving his Ph.D., he worked as a legislative assistant in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 1998. His most recent article is on intra-party challenges to the Speaker of the House, and he presented a paper on party polarization at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association earlier this month.


Green can be reached at 202-319-5667 (office) or by e-mail: greenm@cua.edu.



SUPREME COURT SELECTION PROCESS — Phillip Henderson, associate professor of politics, can talk about William Rehnquist’s role as chief justice and his impact on the court. Henderson is also an expert on political leadership and the presidential selection process for Supreme Court nominees. Henderson can discuss some of the partisan moments in the court’s history such as conservative opposition to Abe Fortas during Lyndon Johnson's presidency, the defeat of Clement Haynesworth and G. Harrold Carswell under President Richard Nixon and the impeachment of Justice Samuel Chase for partisan reasons under President Thomas Jefferson.  He is currently writing “Twelve Leaders Who Made a Difference,” a comparative study of U.S. political leaders who had a profound impact on the institutions in which they served. His teaching interests include U.S. political leadership since 1789, executive branch policymaking, the U.S. presidency and American national institutions.


Henderson can be reached at 410-992-1776 (home) or by e-mail: or pghenderson@comcast.net.


To search for other CUA faculty who serve as experts for the media, visit the online Faculty Experts Guide at: http://publicaffairs.cua.edu/experts/ or contact the Office of Public Affairs for more assistance at 202-319-5600.






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Revised: 9/9/2005

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The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.