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U.S. Supreme Court topic of political science talk

by Deanne Puca

Oct. 15, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Examining the cases before this year's U.S. Supreme Court and predicting the tone of upcoming decisions is the focus of a lecture Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 3:30 p.m. in Room 3301 of Friedmann Hall at Western Michigan University.

Todd Curry and Mark Ferguson, advanced doctoral students in political science, will speak on "Supreme Court Preview-2011 Term." The lecture is open to the public free of charge.

The 2010 Supreme Court term was decidedly pro-business and quite conservative in the tone of its decisions. With no turnover in membership, Curry and Ferguson will discuss whether the 2011 term is likely to offer much of the same.

Curry's research questions much of the conventional wisdom with regard to politics in American society. To that end, his dissertation--"Understanding State Supreme Courts: An Event History Approach"--subjects numerous claims made by judicial reform groups to empirical scrutiny.

Ferguson focuses on critical approaches to understanding politics and society, as well as activism in practice and thought. His dissertation project involves the intersection of corporations, the courts and society, and the implications for democracy in America and abroad.

For more information, contact Susan Hoffmann, director of the Institute of Government and Politics, at or (269) 387-5692.