University of Richmond

Jepson School professor Gary McDowell publishes Wall Street Journal's lead op-ed on "The War for the Constitution"

October 31, 2007

Gary McDowell, a professor at the University of Richmond's Jepson School of Leadership Studies, published the lead op-ed in the Oct. 23 edition of The Wall Street Journal on "The War for the Constitution."

McDowell's guest column looks back 20 years on Robert Bork's confirmation hearings for a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States. The defeat of Bork's nomination "heralded a fundamental transformation in the process surrounding judicial appointments and thereby radically politicized the public's view of the nature and extent of judicial power under the Constitution," McDowell says in the article. "

Confirmation battles from Mr. Bork to Clarence Thomas to Samuel Alito have taken on the trappings of ordinary political campaigns, from instant polling to rallies and protests and attack ads. Sadly, the courts are no longer above the fray," he argues.

McDowell holds the Tyler Haynes Interdisciplinary Professorship in Leadership Studies, Political Science and Law at Richmond. Before joining the university, he directed the Institute of United States Studies and taught American studies at the University of London. He has written or edited 10 books on privacy, juvenile delinquency, politics, judicial power and the Constitution.

His Wall Street Journal guest column is available to online edition subscribers at