October 15, 2018

Controversial Kavanaugh hearings to be tackled by Legal Studies and Criminal Justice faculty in panel presentation

The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Legal Studies & Criminal Justice faculty and staff will lead a 45-minute panel discussion regarding the Ford/Kavanaugh hearings at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 24 in Swenson Hall Room 1012.  The event is free and open to the public.

The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Legal Studies & Criminal Justice faculty and staff will lead a 45-minute panel discussion regarding the Ford/Kavanaugh hearings at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 24 in Swenson Hall Room 1012. The event is free and open to the public.

Legal Studies & Criminal Justice faculty and staff will lead a discussion regarding the Ford/Kavanaugh hearings at noon Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Swenson Hall Room 1012

False allegations of sexual assault — or a victim who was too fearful to report?  The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s controversial hearing that introduced allegations of sexual assault against the Supreme Court’s most recent appointment, Justice Brett Michael Kavanaugh, caused a nationwide controversy. A starkly divided Senate vote confirmed Kavanaugh’s appointment at 50-48 votes, leaving many Americans wondering what the long-term impacts of the Kavanaugh hearings could possibly be on the justice system.

The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Legal Studies & Criminal Justice faculty and staff will lead a 45-minute panel discussion regarding the Ford/Kavanaugh hearings at noon Wednesday, Oct. 24, in Swenson Hall Room 1012. The event is free and open to the public, and is part of the program’s newly launched “Law & Justice Dialogue” series.

The Law & Justice Dialogues will allow community members, students, and other UWS faculty and staff to listen to organized panels of criminal justice and legal studies faculty and staff, featuring informed professional commentary about controversial topics related to the American criminal justice system.

The panel, “Law & Justice Dialogue: The Kavanaugh Hearings,” will be composed of four expert perspectives from well-trained faculty and staff:

  • Professor Maria Stalzer Wyant Cuzzo, J.D., Ph.D., is the Legal Studies/Criminal Justice program coordinator, with over 25 years of experience in legal studies and conflict resolution/mediation.  
  • Assistant Professor Allison Willingham, M.S., Ph.D. in progress, is a published criminologist who has led in-depth research projects and community training events about criminal victimization.  
  • Senior lecturer Steven Steblay, M.S., has over thirty years of law enforcement experience as a detective, criminal investigator, and supervising deputy.  
  • Senior lecturer Nathan N. LaCoursiere, J.D., has over eleven years of experience practicing law, most recently serving as an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Duluth.

“The Justice Kavanaugh hearings provoked many responses across the United States,” said Cuzzo. “This panel gives us an opportunity for an opening dialogue about the implications and consequences of this collective experience.”

Through a behavioral science lens, the panelists will discuss issues such as the legitimacy of the Supreme Court decisions in the wake of the Kavanaugh appointment, the conflict dynamics of the appointment process, the complicated impacts of victimization, and navigation of the process from fact-finding to potential investigation. 

The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Legal Studies & Criminal Justice faculty and staff will lead a 45-minute panel discussion regarding the Ford/Kavanaugh hearings at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 24 in Swenson Hall Room 1012.  The event is free and open to the public.

The University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Legal Studies & Criminal Justice faculty and staff will lead a 45-minute panel discussion regarding the Ford/Kavanaugh hearings at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 24 in Swenson Hall Room 1012. The event is free and open to the public.

The Legal Studies/Criminal Justice (LSTU/CJUS) undergraduate program is housed within UWS’s Department of Human Behavior, Justice, and Diversity, along with behavioral neuroscience, First Nations studies, psychology, and social work.  In addition to a bachelor’s degree in legal studies and a criminal justice concentration, the LSTU/CJUS program also offers professional certificates in ethical policing, paralegal education, and mediation.  The program hosts multiple student organizations, including Mock Trial, Pre-Law Society, Criminal Justice Honor Society, and Criminal Justice Student Association.

“This program is committed to furthering the understanding of crime and justice problems beyond the classroom, for both our students and the community at large,” explained assistant professor Willingham.  “This is an opportunity for us to host an event that will provide expert analysis of a controversial legal-political situation, from four very distinct backgrounds and perspectives.”

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