Friday Forum Season Ends with Talk on the Supreme Court and Politics

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Professor and political scientist Stephen Woolpert will speak at June’s First Friday Forum.

    Stephen Woolpert, a professor at Saint Mary’s College of California, speaks on “The Supreme Court and Politics,” marking the last program of the 2019 First Friday Forum series presented by the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church.
    Woolpert specializes in the U.S. Constitution, civil rights, the Supreme Court and California politics.  About his lecture he says, “It is inspired by a famous quote from the 1830s by Alexis de Tocqueville: ‘Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question.’ The controversy over the recent appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court underscores its political importance. I hope to explore with the audience the nature of the court’s role in our system of government.”
    Holding a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford University, Woolpert was dean of Liberal Arts at Saint Mary’s College from 2005 to 2015.  He has served as an expert source on issues surrounding civil rights, the Supreme Court and California politics, and has written op-ed pieces on a variety of topics.
    As to his interest in these subjects, Woolpert explains, “I grew up in our nation’s capital where my father worked in the Surgeon General’s office. So my involvement in politics has deep roots. As a doctoral student at Stanford in the early 1970s, I began studying our criminal justice system, largely in response to a series of prison riots that swept the country. This led to studying the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court.”
    Further afield, he also has done research in the field of environmental politics and law, covering issues such as pollution and waste, climate change, public lands, and biodiversity and endangered species. 
    “I believe it will be most enlightening to hear about the correlation between the Supreme Court and politics from Dr. Woolpert,” says First Friday Forum Chair Nancy Holtzapple. 
    The talk takes place at 1:30 p.m. June 7 in the Sanctuary of Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church (LOPC), 49 Knox Drive, Lafayette. Refreshments will be served in Fellowship Hall at 1 p.m. For more information call 925-283-8722.

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