Waynesburg University’s Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership hosted United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith Thursday, Sept. 21, in Alumni Hall.
Judge Smith is renowned as a jurist for his prudence and sound judgment which embody the ideal of judges articulated by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers. It was truly a wonderful opportunity for Waynesburg University pre-law, political science and other students to learn from Judge Smith’s insights.”
Judge Smith, serving as a Judicial Fellow in Residence, participated in a question-and-answer-styled lecture titled, “Reflections on Law and Judiciary.” Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, Director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership, served as the interviewer.
His presentation stressed the importance of judicial independence, respect for the procedures or rules of legal analysis, and the duties of citizenship to Waynesburg University students, faculty and administrators.
“Judge Smith is renowned as a jurist for his prudence and sound judgment which embody the ideal of judges articulated by Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers,” said Dr. Stratton. “It was truly a wonderful opportunity for Waynesburg University pre-law, political science and other students to learn from Judge Smith’s insights.”
The Waynesburg University Stover Scholars had the opportunity to engage in the presentation and ask questions. Several offered remarks on their experience afterwards.
“I thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to hear from Judge Smith concerning his work as a circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,” said Kaylee Boll, a junior nursing major. “Throughout the lecture, Judge Smith emphasized the idea of the judicial process and how a good judge must overlook his personal views or desires and focus on the facts of a case in order to reach a just conclusion.”
“Judge Smith is an influential legal figure with years of judicial wisdom. His support of the jury system and judicial processes was unwavering in his informative lecture,” added Ethan Lown, a senior political science major.
“Judge D. Brooks Smith offered the Waynesburg University students and faculty insightful knowledge of the judicial system and the extraordinary privilege that ‘We the People’ have to participate as a jury in a trial,” Kristie Faber, a sophomore business administration major, said. “Judge Smith expressed it is our obligation to teach the public Civics, to truly assist in ‘transforming the polis’.”
“The reverence and thoughtfulness with which Judge Smith approaches the legal system is something that we can all learn from,” Joshua DeFries, a sophomore computer science major, added. “Judge Smith only cares about how to best uphold and enact the legal system laid out before us.”
“Judge Smith gave a riveting discussion regarding the process and procedure of the judiciary and the weight that this branch carries within the American government system,” remarked sophomore criminal justice major Emily Barker. “He referenced his experience and knowledge to give us a better understanding of the role of judges. He connected his humanity and moral convictions to his legal duties in a legalist role. Judge Smith is a wonderful example of the ideal American judge.”
Judge Smith has served on the Third Circuit since 2002 and was Chief Judge of that court from October 2016 to December 2021. Judge Smith is the only judge in the history of the Circuit to have served as both a chief district judge and chief circuit judge. Prior to his elevation to the Third Circuit, Judge Smith was the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.