CLS: The Supreme Court

Explore the power and impact the Supreme Court has on the perceptions of government and society.


“Justices on the Court: The 2021-22 Term”
10:30-12 p.m. & 3:30-5 p.m., Monday, Aug. 1 | Orchestra Hall 

Because of changes in the criteria for selection of Supreme Court justices and justices’ own immersion in a polarized world, most justices today have a strong personal commitment to the ideological camp and the political party with which they identify. But justices also want to be seen as nonpolitical and nonpartisan judges who decide cases on the basis of the law. Indeed, some justices have expressed concern about public perceptions that they are, in Justice Stephen Breyer’s words, “junior varsity politicians.” As decision makers, then, justices feel a tension between their ideological and partisan commitments and their concern for their image. The Court’s decisions in its most recent term, some highly visible and others more obscure, illuminate how the justices respond to that tension.

Lawrence Baum is a professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State University where he has spent his career since completing his graduate work at the University of Wisconsin. His teaching and research focus on courts in the United States, with a primary emphasis on the Supreme Court. He teaches courses on Supreme Court decision making, civil liberties in the courts, and women and the law. His books include The Company They Keep: How Partisan Divisions Came to the Supreme Court (2019), co-authored with Neal Devins, and Ideology in the Supreme Court (2017). His teaching and research interests combine in a textbook, The Supreme Court; the 14th edition of that book was published in 2021.


“We the People; An ‘Other’ Look at Ruth Bader Ginsberg”
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 2 | Orchestra Hall 

Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a contemporary cultural icon. Much can be accessed about her life and her work. An “Other” look attempts to portray a more intimate connection to this remarkable human being. Taken from her life story, Juliette Regnier narrows the wide epic shot of her extraordinary life and focuses on the human (and inherently female) condition of success, failure, joy, loss, hardship, popularity, experience and love.

Juliette Regnier was last seen in The Witches as Marie/Rebecca for Cleveland Public Theatre. During the pandemic, she performed in the Cleveland Haunted Walking Tours, completed the collaborative work Tenebrous, created We the People: An “Other” Look at Ruth Bader Ginsberg, filmed independent short; “Mary (Mary)” and “Archive 81” for Netflix.

Exceptional projects have been Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo; Mary Todd Lincoln in A Civil War Christmas, Bananas in The House of Blue Leaves; and her original cycle of “S” plays; Shorn, Soiled, Sisters and Superior. A company member of Kalliope Stage, Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Signstage Theatre, Regnier has also appeared at The Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre and the American Repertory Theatre.

She studied with the Moscow Art Theatre at Harvard University, taught acting at CWRU, and has created four cabarets. Her directing credits include Romeo & Juliet, Necessary Targets and Women on Fire.


“The Importance of The Supreme Court”
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 4 | Orchestra Hall 

Justice Terrence O’Donnell served on the Supreme Court of Ohio from 2003-2018 and is one of Ohio’s longest-serving justices. During his time on the Court, he led statewide efforts to promote integrity and professionalism in law, leading to the creation of a nationally recognized Lawyer-to-Lawyer Mentoring Program. Justice O’Donnell also served on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court for 14 years and the Eighth District Court.


“Women on the Supreme Court”
3:30-5 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 4 | Orchestra Hall 

In 234 years since the establishment of the United States Supreme Court, six women have served as Supreme Court justices. From Sandra Day O’Connor to Ketanji Brown Jackson, they represent the upper echelon of women in the legal profession. Together they comprise just five percent of all justices to ever serve on the nation’s highest court. This presentation will examine their paths to the Supreme Court in the context of growing women’s representation in the legal profession, rising numbers of women on the federal bench, and ever-increasing partisan polarization within America’s political institutions. Once on the Supreme Court, women justices each cast a single vote, just like their male counterparts, on cases that come before the court. Is there reason to believe they utilize different legal reasoning than their male counterparts, or that their presence on the court leads to different case outcomes? The answer may surprise you.

Dr. Melissa Miller is a Professor of Political Science at Bowling Green State University and an expert on women in politics. She was awarded the Faculty Senate’s Community Engagement Award in recognition of her extensive public engagement activities. Dr. Miller is also a Master Teacher – the highest teaching honor on campus.
Dr. Miller is frequently interviewed by the media on state and national politics. She has appeared in/on ABC News, CNN, Fox News, The New York Times, and The Guardian, among others. She currently serves as Political Analyst for 13abc Action News in Toledo. Dr. Miller’s research appears in Politics & GenderPublic Opinion Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, and American Politics Research, among others. She is Executive Producer of Trailblazing Women in Ohio Politics, a forthcoming WBGU-PBS documentary. Dr. Miller holds a B.A. from Cornell, a Master of Public Policy from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern.


“The Emancipation Proclamation, the Supreme Court & Abraham Lincoln”
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5 | Orchestra Hall 

This presentation covers the genesis, preparation, promulgation, interpretations and the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation, perhaps the strangest document in American history. Special attention is given to Lincoln’s relationship with the Supreme Court, especially Chief Justice Roger Taney, and how it affected Lincoln’s Constitutional justification of the well as his diligent pursuit of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.  Discussed are the moral imperatives that inspired the war measure, as well as the more concrete motives of preventing foreign intervention in the war and depleting Southern manpower—the engine that drove the Southern economy—and, the opposite side of the same coin, increasing Northern manpower, especially in Union armies. Also discussed are the 13 Amendment and how the two documents were viewed by later generations of African Americans.

John C. Fazio has a B.A. and J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He now lives in Fairlawn (an Akron suburb) with his wife, Mary, who is retired after a career in public relations. Between them, they have seven children, all of whom have left the nest. John joined Mary in retirement in 2016 after practicing law for 50years. He is a student of history, with an emphasis on European and American history and with an even greater emphasis on the most defining event in American history, the Civil War. He is a member of the Cleveland Civil War Roundtable and has been its president. He is also a member of the Lincoln Forum, the Surratt Society, the Cleveland Grays and the Western Reserve Historical Society. He has taught Civil War history at Chautauqua Institution, frequently speaks on the war and other subjects before roundtables and other groups and has written and published more than 40 articles on the war and other subjects. In addition, he has written Decapitating the Union: Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and the Plot to Assassinate Lincoln, after five years of research and writing. The book was released in January 2016.  Copies are available from, from other online book sellers, from some bookstores and directly from the publisher (Morris Gilbert Publishing Company, P.O. Box 13701, Akron, OH 44333). His second book, Who Really Killed Lincoln: Four Smoking Guns, is awaiting publication.

The event is finished.


Aug 01 - 05, 2022

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Aug 01 - 05, 2022


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