Corning Community College’s Walter R. Smith Visiting Scholar Series will host author Keith J. Bybee as he presents “All Judges are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies and the Rule of Law” on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. in the Triangle Lounge, located in the Commons building on the Spencer Hill campus in Corning, New York. This event is free and open to the public.
Bybee will explore contradictory public perceptions of the courts and consider their impact on judicial legitimacy and the rule of law. This discussion stems from his book All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not, Acceptable Hypocrisies and the Rule of Law, a bold and original account of law in American society. In the book, Bybee describes how Americans accept a rule of law that is at once both impartial and political. He convincingly makes the case that much can be learned by thinking hard about the role of common courtesy and hypocrisy in society. A truly interdisciplinary endeavor, this work provides serious fodder for those concerned with the health of the rule of law in America.
Bybee is the Paul E. and Hon. Joanne F. Alper ’72 Judiciary Studies Professor at the Syracuse University College of Law. He is also Professor of Political Science at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Senior Research Associate at the Campbell Public Affairs Institute.
Bybee’s teaching interests include law and courts, the politics of race and ethnicity, LGBT rights, American politics, political philosophy, and the media. His articles have appeared in a wide range of academic journals. He is author of the book Mistaken Identity: The Supreme Court and the Politics of Minority Representation (Princeton University Press, 1998; second printing, 2002), an examination of the theories of political identity at stake in the debate over race-conscious redistricting. He is also editor of Bench Press: The Collision of Courts, Politics, and the Media (Stanford University Press, 2007), a collection of essays on judicial independence written by legal scholars, sitting judges, and working journalists. His latest book, All Judges Are Political—Except When They Are Not: Acceptable Hypocrisies and the Rule of Law (Stanford University Press, 2010) considers how the judicial process may be shot through with partisanship and nonetheless remain a legitimate part of the legal system.
Bybee edits the subject matter journal Law, Politics, and the Media published by SSRN.com and the book series Stanford Studies in Law and Politics published by Stanford University Press. He is also part of the editorial team for the Journal of Law and Courts and he recently completed his three-year term as President of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture, and the Humanities.