Professor Smith's background reflects a continuous interest in "the intersection of law, government, and politics." As an undergraduate at George Washington and a Root-Tilden Scholar at New York University, he pursued this interest in the classroom and through internships with a national political party and two members of Congress. After law school Smith served as a legal counsel to the U.S. Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. A past Chair of the Section on Legislation of the Association of American Law Schools, he participates frequently in media interviews and public affairs programs about constitutional controversies and the Supreme Court. He has published articles on free speech issues involved in medical research, privacy concerns posed by emerging telecommunication technologies, and on the proper interpretation of federal statutes. His articles, in the University of Colorado Law Review and in symposia sponsored by the California Western Law Review, propose systemic reforms and new judicial approaches to improve the interpretation of legislation passed by voter initiative.
Smith is the creator of an innovative “Current Issues in Constitutional Law” seminar in which law students learn about the Supreme Court by role-playing as lawyers arguing before it and current justices. Smith’s commitment to promote public understanding about the Constitution and the American legal and governmental systems leads him regularly to teach courses, gives presentations and participate in media interviews for non-lawyers. He authored and voiced 39 “Constitutional Context” podcasts, posted on several podcast platforms by the OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute at San Diego State University. Along with a California Western alumnus, Smith is the principal co-author of a “Dummies book” on Constitutional Law.