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News Posted on February 15, 2012

Arizona Supreme Court Justice Scott Bales Teaches Seminar at King Hall

Justice Scott BalesDuring the Spring 2012 semester, King Hall is hosting a very special visiting Lecturer: Arizona Supreme Court Justice Scott Bales, who is teaching a two-unit seminar on Separation of Powers.

"I've known and admired UC Davis School of Law for a long time," said Justice Bales, who first visited King Hall 12 years ago as a symposium panelist and last year delivered the Edward L. Barrett Lecture on Constitutional Law.  He is also a longstanding acquaintance of several King Hall faculty, including Dean Kevin R. Johnson, who was a classmate at Harvard Law School. "It's something of a change of pace to come here to teach, and I'm certainly enjoying it."

Justice Bales regularly teaches courses at the law schools of the University of Arizona and Arizona State University and participates in a range of legal education programs, including the We the People High School Competition in constitutional law.  "I do different kinds of law-related education for students ranging from second graders to non-law graduate students," he said.  "I am interested in encouraging others to learn about our Constitution and its history."

Justice Bales graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in History and Economics before going on to Harvard, where he earned a Master's Degree in Economics and then his J.D.  He clerked for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Joseph T. Sneed III on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced law in Arizona from 1985 until his appointment to the Court in 2005, including private practice with Lewis and Rocca from 2001-05 and service as Arizona's Solicitor General from 1999-2001.

The Separation of Powers course is "really a class on constitutional history," said Bales.  "We review different events in our history, such as the election of 1800, and then read cases in the context of those events.  I think it's a useful and important perspective on judicial decisions."