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Glenn C. Smith

Professor of Law
Chair, J.D./Ph.D. Dual Degree Program in Political Science
Visiting Professor of Political Science, University of California, San Diego

LL.M. Georgetown University [public interest law]
J.D. New York University [Order of the Coif]
B.A. George Washington University [valedictorian, interdisciplinary public affairs]
225 Cedar Street
(619) 525-1495
Administrative & Legislative Law, Constitutional Law I & II, Current Issues in Constitutional Law
Class Materials

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 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 most recent article, appearing in the University of Colorado Law Review, proposed a new approach to judicial interpretation of legislation passed by voter initiative.

Smith is the creator of a nationally-recognized seminar in which law students learn about the Supreme Court by role-playing as lawyers arguing before it and current justices. He has worked on a program for enhancing high school students' knowledge of constitutional law, and he was national president of Prison Possibilities, Inc., which sponsored innovative training programs to reduce prison inmate recidivism. In addition to his regular law school courses, Smith teaches the special Summer Enrichment Program for newly admitted students.


  • Glenn C. Smith & Patricia Fusco, Constitutional Law for Dummies (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2011).

Law Review Articles

  • Glenn C. Smith, More D (Deliberation) for California’s DD (Direct Democracy): Enhancing Voter Understanding and Promoting Deliberation Through Streamlined Notice-and-Comment Procedures, 48 Cal. W. L. Rev. 1 (2011).
  • Glenn C. Smith & Brendan Bailey, Legislative Reform of California’s Direct Democracy: A Field Guide to Recent Efforts, 47 Cal. W. L. Rev. 259 (2011).
  • Glenn C. Smith, Solving the ‘Initiatory Construction’ Puzzle (and Improving Direct Democracy) by Appropriate Refocusing on Sponsor Intent, 78 U. Colo. L. Rev. 257 (2007).

Columns in Periodicals

“Perspective” Columns in Los Angeles Daily Journal (largest-circulation journal serving California lawyers and other professionals):

  • Glenn C. Smith, Supreme Court Chooses to Bunt this Term, L.A. Daily J. (Jul. 2014).
  • Glenn C. Smith, Myriad Potential Outcomes in Same-Sex-Marriage Cases, L.A. Daily J. (Mar. 2013).
  • Glenn C. Smith, U.S. High Court to Hear Arguments on Race-Based Admissions Policy, L.A. Daily Journal (Oct. 2012).
  • Glenn C. Smith, March Madness – U.S. Supreme Court Style (preview of Obamacare oral arguments and Court options), L.A. Daily Journal (Mar. 2012).
  • Glenn C. Smith, Making California’s Initiative Process More Deliberative, L.A. Daily Journal (Oct. 2011).
  • Glenn C. Smith, Enduring Constitutional Lessons from the Debt-Ceiling Crisis, L.A. Daily Journal (Aug. 2011).
  • Glenn C. Smith, Viewing Citizens United at 30,000 Feet, L.A. Daily Journal (Feb. 2010).

Op-Ed Columns in San Diego Union-Tribune:

  • Glenn C. Smith, Obamacare’s Day in Court: A Mandate for Judicial Restraint, San Diego Union Tribune (Mar. 28, 2012), available at
  • Glenn C. Smith, A Temporary Detour on the Road to Marriage Equality, San Diego Union Tribune (May 28, 2009), available at
  • Glenn C. Smith, Can a Simple Majority Change our Supreme Law? , San Diego Union Tribune (Mar. 5, 2009), available at