Faculty’s opinion in demand


    By Marissa Ballantyne

    Reporters representing media organizations from across the globe have sought out BYU political science professor Richard Davis recently concerning his book ?Electing Justice: Fixing the Supreme Court Nomination Process? that was published this year.

    The book?s release coincided perfectly with the announcement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O?Connor?s retirement earlier this month. International media have contacted Davis to get his views on the upcoming selection of a nominee to fill O?Connor?s vacancy.

    The Boston Globe, USA Today, Congressional Quarterly, ABC Radio and the French newspaper Le Monde are some of the media that have contacted Davis for his insight.

    Justin Smith, a secretary in the political science department, said the media attention on Davis is the most the department has had as of late.

    In his book, Davis suggests ways to repair the justice selection process, which he says is broken.

    Davis said some of the changes he suggests can be done without a ?major overhaul? of the nomination process by Constitutional Amendment. Davis said he hopes in the future the President and the Senate Judiciary Committee will put into effect some of the smaller changes he suggests.

    ?I hope some of these people will look at the recommendations and say, ?Well, yeah, let?s consider this,?? Davis said. ?I think they are needed changes.?

    Quin Monson, also a professor of political science at BYU, received a lot of media attention around the election season in 2004. He said the media consideration given to the opinions of professionals on political issues has the ?potential to make an impact.?

    Davis said it is hard to know if his book will affect any decisions because at this point, there is no real way to judge.

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