Oklahoma Attorney General Guest Lectures in Advanced Constitutional Law Class

Friday, May 25, 2012

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt visited Professor Jamie McDonald's Supreme Court Practice and Advanced Constitutional Law class on Thursday, May 24, to cap off the four day accelerated summer class.

Attorney General Scott PruittMuch of his talk centered on the Supreme Court's hearings on the federal healthcare legislation. He described witnessing the oral arguments as impressive not only because of the content but because of the process itself.

"We had great advocates-- truly informed, intelligent, great persuasive presentations-- engaged in a competition on a very important issue. Great advocacy. And nine justices asking tough questions for three days. Great questions, great analysis, and they're going to make a decision. We, as Americans, should take pride in that. We should celebrate a process in which rule of law is honored, that there is civility that's exercised; and it was clear that the justices, though they disagreed vehemently on certain issues, still respected one another."

Attorney General Pruitt, a TU Law graduate, was elected in 2010 and is the chair of the Republican Attorneys General Association. His creation of a "federalism unit" has placed him in the forefront of the balance of powers debate between the federal and state government. He was state senator representing Tulsa and Wagoner counties from 1998-2006.

Jamie McDonald, an attorney for Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington D.C., is a Visiting Professor at TU College of Law. McDonald clerked for Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and then spent a year as a deputy associate counsel in the White House Counsel's office. At age 26, he had the great fortune of clerking for Chief Justice John Roberts.

His course on advanced topics in constitutional law studies Supreme Court decision-making, beginning with the certiorari process, continuing through briefing and argument before the Court, and culminating in an opinion of the Court.  Students track the progress of cases currently pending before the Supreme Court—each of which will present advanced issues in constitutional law—through each stage in this process.  At the end of the class, students are required to write an “opinion of the Court” in one of the cases followed in the course. 

Shari Erwin