Jeffrey Toobin discusses U.S. Supreme Court, Election 2008

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin talked about the evolution of the U. S. Supreme Court and the Republican Party in a Joseph M. Bryan Distinguished Leadership Lecture, hosted on Sept. 22 by the Elon University School of Law.

Toobin began his lecture by congratulating faculty, staff and students for creating the law school and achieving ABA accreditation, calling Elon Law a “remarkable achievement.”

Toobin drew on his research from his bestseller, “Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election,” to discuss the ways that the U.S. Supreme Court changed following its Bush-Gore presidential recount decision. He argued that the court became more liberal, mostly as a result of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s dissatisfaction with policies of the Bush administration. (Click on link at right for Toobin’s comments.)

As both an analyst for CNN and a staff writer for The New Yorker, Toobin is one of the country’s most esteemed experts on the intersection of politics, media and the law. He predicted that the next president will have the opportunity to make multiple appointments to the Supreme Court because three of the court’s most liberal justices are likely to step down in coming years. He says the resulting appointments will be fundamental in shaping the court’s opinions for decades to come.

Toobin said that the Democratic party is currently better aligned with voter’s opinions on many issues, including the War in Iraq, the economy and healthcare, but said that Republican Sen. John McCain is doing well in this year’s campaign because of his character and strong political skills. (Click on link at right for Toobin’s comments.)

Jeffrey Toobin delivers the Joseph M. Bryan Distinguished Leadership Lecture

If Sen. Barack Obama wins the presidency, Toobin says there is potential for a great deal of conflict as the more conservative Supreme Court considers overturning legislation passed by a Democratic president and Democrat-controlled Congress. (Click on link at right for Toobin’s comments.)

Prior to his evening lecture at Greensboro’s Carolina Theatre, Toobin conducted a civil procedure class with law school students, signed copies of his latest bestselling book, “The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court,” and discussed legal issues and legal careers with students in the school’s Robert E. Long Courtroom.

Following the lecture, Toobin traveled to the Elon University campus for a live CNN remote appearance with newsman Anderson Cooper.

The Joseph M. Bryan Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series is an integral part of Elon University School of Law’s commitment to develop lawyers who are also leaders. Endowed through a generous gift from the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation of Greensboro, N.C., the Distinguished Leadership Lecture Series brings accomplished leaders from a variety of disciplines to Elon to share their experiences and perspectives with students and faculty.

Jeffrey Toobin talks with Elon Law students in the Robert E. Long Courtroom