WCL Welcomes New Law and Government Fellows


WASHINGTON, DC, August 27, 2009 – The Program on Law and Government at American University Washington College of Law (WCL) is pleased to announce that William R. Yeomans and Steve Wermiel have joined the Program as fellows.

“Bill Yeomans and Steve Wermiel are extraordinary public servants and preeminent legal thinkers on policy matters that cross the branches of the federal government,” said Professor Jamin Raskin, Director of WCL’s Program on Law and Government. ”We are thrilled to have them join us as Fellows in Law and Government and know that our students and faculty will benefit from their insight and understanding.”

Yeomans and Wermiel follow in the footsteps of other great Law and Government Fellows including Judge Abner Mikva, Senator John Culver and, most recently, former D.C. Attorney General Linda Singer.

William R. Yeomans

From 2006 until 2009, Yeomans served as Sen. Kennedy’s chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he led a team of attorneys who handled issues in all areas of the Committee’s jurisdiction, including civil rights, civil liberties, immigration, criminal law, bankruptcy, immigration, intellectual property, antitrust, and judicial and executive nominations.  He served most recently as legal director of the Alliance for Justice and in 2005-2006 was the American Constitution Society’s first director of programs.

From 1978 until 2005, Yeomans served in the United States Department of Justice.  He spent the last 24 of those years in the Civil Rights Division, where he started as a trial attorney, litigating primarily cases in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court in all areas of civil rights law, including voting rights, discrimination in employment, housing and education, prisoners’ rights, and the criminal prosecution of police misconduct, hate crimes, and human trafficking.  He subsequently served in a series of leadership positions, including counsel to the assistant attorney general, deputy assistant attorney general, chief of staff, and acting assistant attorney general for civil rights.

Yeomans brings to the Law and Government Program extensive experience working with all branches of government at the highest levels.  Yeomans will teach courses on Congressional Lawmaking and Congressional Oversight, as well as Constitutional Law and Civil Rights.

Stephen Wermiel

Wermiel was previously an adjunct professor at WCL and associate director of the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, a 10-year-old program in which WCL students teach constitutional law in the public high schools of Washington, D.C. Wermiel holds expertise in the U.S. Supreme Court, having covered the court for the Wall Street Journal from 1979 until 1991. During his 12-year tenure at the Journal, he covered and interpreted more than 1,300 Supreme Court decisions and analyzed trends on a broad array of legal issues. Wermiel teaches Constitutional Law, First Amendment, Media Law and a seminar on the workings of the Supreme Court. He is an expert on the life and career of Justice William J. Brennan, whose authorized biography he and a co-author have written, due out next year.

Early in his career, Wermiel was a Washington correspondent for the Boston Globe. He has also served on the board of directors and on the legal committee of the ACLU of Georgia. He is currently chairman of the editorial board of Human Rights, the magazine of the American Bar Association's Individual Rights & Responsibilities Section, and a member of the editorial board of Communications Lawyer, the journal of the ABA's Forum on Communications Law. He is also chair of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section’s First Amendment Committee.

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