The Brief: Law School News and Events

Specter's Syllabus: Supreme Court Hearings
As a member of the Judiciary Committee, former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter C'51 propelled himself into the middle of some of the most famous and contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings in modern history. Come fall, he will share his knowledge by teaching a Penn Law course on separation of powers and the confirmation process. Specter represented Pennsylvania for 30 years.

Former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter C'51, a longtime member of the Judiciary Committee who participated in the confirmation of 14 Supreme Court nominees, will teach a course at the Law School next fall.

The course examining the relationship between Congress and the Supreme Court will focus on the separation of powers and the confirmation process. "It's a subject matter which could use a lot more understanding. And it's a subject which warrants additional study. Penn Law is a good place to do it," Specter said in an interview.

Specter represented Pennsylvania for 30 years. First elected in 1980 as a Republican, Specter switched parties in 2009. He lost the Democratic nomination last year. During his unpredictable career, he was known for his interrogations of Anita Hill in his defense of Clarence Thomas and his tough questioning of Robert Bork. Specter helped derail Bork's nomination.

This will be the second time Specter has taught at Penn Law School. The first was from 1969 to 1971. He joins his son, Shanin Specter L'84, on the adjunct faculty.

"Arlen's knowledge of the inner workings of the government and lawmaking is second to none," said Dean Michael A. Fitts.