Professor publishes book focused on women in the U.S. Supreme Court

Nichola D. Gutgold, associate professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State Lehigh Valley, recently published “The Rhetoric of Supreme Court Women: From Obstacles to Options,” by Lexington Books – a division of Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.

For almost 200 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has been an exclusively male-dominated institution. From 1981 to 2010, however, four women were appointed to the Supreme Court for the first time in U.S. history: Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. In her book, Gutgold analyzes the rhetoric of these four women, while shedding light on the rise of political women in American judiciary. The power of their rhetoric in a historically male-dominated political system is carefully shown through Gutgold’s analysis of confirmation hearings, primary scripts of their written opinions, invited public lectures, speechesand personal interviews with Justices O’Connor, Ginsburg and Sotomayor.

Possible Cover Up by PSU Senior Administration? (Not Joe Paterno)

By Michael Rubinkam — The Associated Press The Jerry Sandusky case, the way authorities have framed it, is one littered with missed chances to stop a rapist who preyed on children for years. Prosecutors have hinted that top university officials knew far more about Sandusky’s alleged proclivities than they have let on, submitting a document Monday that says Penn State’s former vice president —  himself facing charges related to the scandal — maintained a file on Sandusky a decade ago.

A Penn State trustee told The Associated Press he now suspects a cover-up.  Keith Masser, a Penn State trustee, said in an interview that he initially thought the scandal was about a failure of administrative oversight of the football program. Now he suspects it goes deeper.When the board of trustees ousted Spanier on Nov. 9, four days after Sandusky’s arrest, it was “because we didn’t have confidence in his ability to lead us through this crisis,” Masser said. “We had no idea (at the time) he would be involved in a cover-up.”Masser stressed he was speaking for himself and not the board at large, and said he wants to be careful not to draw premature conclusions. But he said it now appears like “top administration officials and top athletic officials were involved in making the decision to not inform the proper authorities.”With prosecutors focused on the sex abuse allegations against Sandusky, the trial isn’t intended to yield evidence of a possible cover-up. That’s the job of Louis Freeh, the former FBI director hired by the board of trustees to investigate the scandal. His report could be released in late summer.Spanier, who has not been charged with any crime, did not respond to email and phone messages. His attorney did not return a phone call.

The law firm defending Curley and Schultz against charges they lied in their grand jury testimony and failed to report suspect abuse said in a statement last week they “conscientiously considered” McQueary’s account and “deliberated about how to responsibly deal with the conduct and handle the situation properly.” Penn State spokesman David La Torre had no comment Saturday.

Masser said the Freeh investigation is helping Penn State get to the bottom of the scandal.“I hope the truth comes out, and from a board standpoint it was Judge Freeh’s investigation that found these emails that relate Spanier, Curley and Schultz to the suspected cover-up,” he said. “I want the alumni to understand and the stakeholders to understand that this independent investigation is uncovering this information.”

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Sandusky Trial set to Begin on Monday

A judge has denied Jerry Sandusky’s latest attempt to have three of 10 cases of child sex abusedismissed before his trial begins Monday.

The Centre County courthouse is the venue for the Jerry Sandusky trial. Tuesday is the first day of jury selection for the former Penn State coach who is being tried on child molestation charges. Sandusky has been charged with 52 counts of child sex abuse allegedly involving 10 boys over 15 years.
That means jurors will hear about an allegation made in 1998 that was never prosecuted at the discretion of former and missing district attorney Ray Gricar. They will also hear assistant football coach Mike McQueary recount an incident he says he witnessed in the showers of the football locker room in 2001. And, janitors will testify about what happened one night in 2000, when they were cleaning those same showers and one of them witnessed Sandusky with a young boy. In that case, attorney Joe Amendola said the prosecution‘s entire case was based on hearsay, since the janitor who actually saw the act has dementia and can’t testify. At a hearing last month, the judge indicated he believed a jury should make a decision on the three cases. Amendola argued that the more cases put before a jury, the more likely they are to convict. Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Monday at 8:30 a.m. at the Centre County courthouse in Bellefonte.