PULLMAN, Wash. – Scholars from across the country will participate in a public policy symposium at Washington State University to discuss political and institutional implications of recent Supreme Court decisions at 4:15 p.m., Thursday, April 18, in the Compton Union Building Junior Ballroom at Washington State University.

The panel discussion, “Has the Rehnquist Court Hijacked Congress?” will address controversial decisions made by the court affecting recent public policy issues. Guest speakers for the panel include Mark Graber, University of Maryland; George Lovell, University of Washington; Julie Novkov, University Oregon and Mitchell Pickerill, WSU.

Mark Graber is Associate Department Chair of political science at the University of Maryland. He has published several books and articles on political theory and development. His research interests are American political development, political theory and constitutionalism.

George Lovell is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Washington. His research interests are judicial power and democracy. He is currently studying interaction among branches of government and the effects of courts and other political institutions on social movements.

Julie Novkov is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Oregon. Her research interests are law and gender. She is currently studying legislation in the Progressive Era, miscegenation in the post-Civil War era and women’s protective labor legislation.

Mitchell Pickerill is an assistant professor of political science at WSU. He has presented numerous presentations on public law and political theory. His research interests are public law, institutions and the judicial and legislative processes.

The speakers will focus on whether the Rehnquist Court’s decisions hindered Congress’s ability to legislate or limited the scope of the federal and national legislative agenda. The panel will cover policy issues such as the federal Violence Against Women Act, the Brady Gun Control Bill, religious freedom, gun-free school safety zones and civil rights discrimination cases. Cornell Clayton from the WSU political science department will moderate the discussion.

The symposium, part of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service lecture series, is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the institute’s director, Edward Weber at (509) 335-2455.