Professor Goldman Receives APSA Law and Courts Section Award
Congratulations are in order for Professor Sheldon Goldman (political science) who has been selected by the American Political Science Association’s Law and Courts Section as this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. Section chair Mark A. Graber, of the University of Maryland, says, “I suspect most of us have cited [Goldman’s] work on federal courts in our scholarship, taught that scholarship to our students, and benefited from his guidance these many years. We have been truly honored by his presence.” APSA, the leading professional organization for the study of political science, serves more than 15,000 members in over 80 countries. It brings together political scientists from all fields of inquiry in order to expand awareness and understanding of politics. The Law and Courts section promotes interest in teaching and research in the areas of law and the judicial process.
Goldman’s distinguished career has focused on the politics of the selection process and the backgrounds and attributes of those chosen for judgeships. His research findings have been published in numerous journal articles and in many books, most recently Picking Federal Judges: Lower Court Selection from Roosevelt through Reagan (Yale University Press, paper, 1997, 1999). This analysis received strong reviews, and was hailed by Michigan Law Review as “a comprehensive, well-organized and crisply written research work…for any scholar or student of the American judiciary.” But Goldman’s expertise goes well beyond the lower courts. This past year in particular his knowledge about the Supreme Court selection process and the nominees themselves was widely tapped by national media outlets. From the New York Times to the Congressional Quarterly to National Public Radio and Newsweek, his commentary on John Roberts, Harriet Miers, Samuel Alito and the surrounding politics was included on almost a daily basis. But at any given time, Goldman’s opinions on various legal issues and filling vacant federal court judgeships are in the forefront of discussion.
Goldman has taught at UMass Amherst since 1965 and is the chief undergraduate advisor for the political science department. He teaches courses on judicial politics, Constitutional law and policy and civil liberties. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from New York University in 1961, and a master’s degree and doctorate from Harvard in 1964 and 1965. Chair of the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association (2000-2001), Goldman has been on the editorial boards of several professional journals. In 2004 he was honored at UMass Amherst with the Chancellor's Medal and as Distinguished Faculty Lecturer.
April 10, 2006