News Release

Russell Wheeler, former Deputy Director of the Federal Judicial Center, To Join Brookings as Guest Scholar

September 14, 2005

Russell Wheeler, the former deputy director of the Federal Judicial Center, will join the Brookings Institution as a guest scholar starting this fall. The announcement was made by Pietro S. Nivola, vice president of the Governance Studies program at Brookings.

Dr. Wheeler, who holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago, is now the head of the Governance Institute and has served as deputy director of the Federal Judicial Center since 1991. The Center is the federal judiciary’s research and education agency. He has authored numerous books and articles on the history and evolution of the American judicial system; the independence and accountability of judges; the impact of judicial selection methods and judicial education programs; judicial administration and organization; and the extrajudicial activities of judges.

Brookings also announced that it will resume a relationship with the Governance Institute, a small, non-profit, nonpartisan think tank that was co-founded in 1986 by Judge Frank M. Coffin and Robert Katzmann and led by the latter until his appointment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1999. The Institute and Brookings co-sponsored Katzmann’s seminal work, Courts and Congress, as well as eight other volumes on a wide range of subjects having to do with the law, public policy, and the functioning of governmental institutions.

The Governance Institute conducts research on barriers to effective governance, in particular incipient problems that may benefit especially from early attention and pilot projects. While in residence at Brookings, Dr. Wheeler plans to focus, at least initially, on matters of judicial branch governance and interbranch relations. “Russell Wheeler, is our foremost practitioner/scholar of judicial administration,” commented Judge Katzmann, “and has the respect of Justices, judges and members of the academy throughout the nation.”

The Governance Studies program, under the leadership of Pietro S. Nivola, is committed to bolstering Brookings’ capacity in the field of legal and constitutional studies. In this vein, the program has launched the Judicial Issues Forum, an ongoing series of public discussions on questions of jurisprudence and the role of the courts. Stuart Taylor, Jr., of the National Journal and Newsweek, and a nonresident senior fellow in Governance Studies, moderates panels of experts that address major legal and juridical debates of the day. Russell Wheeler will play a role in this initiative as well.

“We welcome Russell Wheeler to the Governance Studies program. His presence will significantly strengthen our hand in matters judicial,” said Nivola.

About Brookings

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