Mezey, Susan Gluck
Mezey, Susan Gluck
Education: Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, B.A. (cum laude), 1965; Syracuse University, M.A., 1967, Ph.D., 1972; DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1983.
Office—Department of Political Science, Loyola University Chicago, 6525 N. Sheridan Rd., Damen Hall, 9th Fl., Chicago, IL 60626. E-mail—[email protected]
Political scientist, educator, writer, and editor. Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand, instructor, 1969-70; University of Hawaii, Honolulu, lecturer, 1973-76; Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, visiting professor in the department of government, 1976-77; University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, postdoctoral fellow, 1977-78; Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, postdoctoral fellow, 1979; DePaul University, Chicago, IL, lecturer in the department of political science, 1977-84, assistant professor, 1984-88, associate professor, 1988-93, professor of political science, 1993—, assistant vice president for research, 2002-04. Has served on numerous committees and executive committees. Legal career includes Karon, Morrison & Savikas, Chicago, summer associate, 1982; Office of the Regional Counsel, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Chicago, staff attorney, 1984.
Florence Eagleton Grant, Eagleton Institute, Rutgers University, 1976-77; Chastain Best Paper Award, Southern Political Science Association Meeting, 1976; Loyola University Center for Ethics Fellowship, 1995; CURL Faculty Fellowship, Loyola University, 2002; Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2007, for Queers in Court: Gay Rights Law and Public Policy.
Children in Court: Public Policymaking and Federal Court Decisions, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1996.
Elusive Equality: Women's Rights, Public Policy, and the Law, L. Rienner Publishers (Boulder, CO), 2003.
Queers in Court: Gay Rights Law and Public Policy, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (Lanham, MD), 2007.
Contributor to books, including Women in Local Politics, edited by D. Stewart, Scarecrow Press, 1980; Issues in Feminism, edited by S. Ruth, Houghton Mifflin, 1981, 4th edition, Mayfield Publishers, 1997; The Year of the Woman: Myth or Reality, edited by C. Wilcox, S. Thomas, and E. Cook, Westview Press, 1994; Gender and American Politics, edited by S. Tolleson-Rinehart and J. Josephson, M.E. Sharpe, 2000, 2nd edition, 2005. Contributor to periodicals, including Journal of Politics, Western Political Quarterly, American Politics Quarterly, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Rutgers Law Review, Publius, Women and Politics, and Policy Studies Journal. Member of the editorial board of Women and Politics, 1979-89.
Susan Gluck Mezey is a law professor whose teaching and research interests include constitutional law, judicial process, judicial-legislative relations, administrative law, women and the law, and children's rights. She is the author of numerous books that focus on specific groups and their struggles with the court system, including women, children, the disabled, and homosexuals.
Her book Children in Court: Public Policymaking and Federal Court Decisions examines the role of the federal government, particularly federal courts, in helping establish public policy concerning children's lives. The book is divided into sections, beginning with "Constitutional Rights Litigation," and continuing with "Aid to Families with Dependent Children," "The Women, Infants, and Children Program and Head Start," "The Child Welfare System," and "Child Support Enforcement." Each section includes a short history of federal government policy, as well as information on federal court litigation.
Writing in the book's introduction, the author notes: "Federal court litigation on behalf of children began in earnest in the mid-1960s. First presenting demands for constitutional equality with adults, especially in the criminal justice system, gradually children's advocates began to press the courts to resolve disputes in a myriad of issues affecting children's lives. The federal courts became involved in controversies over the sufficiency of public welfare assistance, the legitimacy of interstate child support enforcement, and the adequacy of the performance of state child welfare agencies."
Children in Court received several strong reviews. Noting that the author's work is "grounded in positive empirical theory," Isaac Unah went on to write in the Policy Studies Journal: "Mezey has written a valuable book that should appeal to everyone interested in the fate of America's children. The material is thoroughly researched and documented. Indeed, the book contains a list of all Supreme Court cases directly involving children that were litigated in the Warren, Burger, and Rehnquist Courts from 1953 through 1993." Writing a review of Children in Court in the American Political Science Review, Susan E. Lawrence noted: "What Mezey's analysis does reveal is that, in recent years, the Supreme Court's concern with federalism and state autonomy has permeated its decisions on children's rights and interests, leading to a refusal to constitutionalize a state obligation to protect children from physical and emotional harm or to require a more equitable distribution of those government resources and services that affect children, while generally upholding state court child support orders."
In Pitiful Plaintiffs: Child Welfare Litigation and the Federal Courts, published in 2000, Mezey continues her examination of how federal courts play a role in child welfare policy making. She also addresses whether or not litigation is a viable approach to reform. Basing much of her research on interviews with those involved with the Illinois child welfare program. The author focuses on a class-action lawsuit against the Illinois child welfare system. In a broader sense, the book is about the tens of thousands of abused and neglected children in the United States who sought the help of federal courts in compelling state and local governments to fulfill their obligations to these children. Interviewees for the book included attorneys, public officials, members of children's advocacy groups, and federal court judges. Additional information was obtained from legal documents, government reports and publications, national and local news reports, and scholarly writings.
"The most significant contribution of this book is that it highlights the extraordinary difficulty of reforming a child welfare system that can only improve if numerous public officials respond favorably to interest group pressure," wrote William T. Gormley, Jr., of Pitiful Plaintiffs in the American Political Science Review, adding later added in the same review: "The book is well written and tells a compelling story." Writing in the Political Science Quarterly, Caren G. Dubnoff noted: "Overall … Susan Gluck Mezey has provided a thoroughly researched, useful addition to the literature on interest group litigation and judicial decision making."
In her 2003 book Elusive Equality: Women's Rights, Public Policy, and the Law, the author looks at women's legal rights in the U.S. courts, beginning with an examination of women's issues in terms of the Constitution as interpreted by the courts. She goes on to analyze specific areas of high interest, such as education and the work place. She discusses the Equal Pay Act and its shortcomings, controversies concerning the idea of comparable worth, and sexual harassment. "What makes the book unique is its emphasis on decisions of the courts, in particular the Supreme Court," noted Robert W. Langran in Perspectives on Political Science. "Readers will come away from the book with a realization of the pivotal role the Court has played in this arena."
Disabling Interpretations: The Americans with Disabilities Act in Federal Court provides a comprehen- sive review of the federal judiciary's interpretations of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The author argues that the federal courts have reduced the scope and impact of civil rights legislation through their readings of the statute. The author begins by giving an overview of the legislation's major components, she goes on to discuss disability rights as civil rights and then presents several chapters exploring pertinent federal litigation. She then uses qualitative and basic quantitative data to show how well defendants have done in this area of litigation. In chapter six, she writes of "new federalism" jurisprudence.
"This book examines judicial implementation of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the nation's … most far reaching attempt to combat discrimination on the basis of disabilities," the author writes in the book's introduction. "Centering on the role of the federal courts on disability rights policymaking in the United States, it also assesses the interaction among the courts, Congress, and subnational governments in the enforcement of civil rights guarantees for people with disabilities."
Noting that the author "is fastidious in her analysis and insightful in her conclusions," Bradley D. Hays went on to write in his review in the Political Science Quarterly: "The book presents an interesting case study of the difficulties of progressive social and legal movements in the United States and could easily find a home in courses for upper-level undergraduate students or a graduate seminar."
In her 2007 book Queers in Court: Gay Rights Law and Public Policy, Mezey focuses on the battle for gay and lesbian rights in the United States, from issues concerning same-sex marriage and employment discrimination to private rights and military service. Analyzing 300 state and federal court cases, the author provides a comprehensive history and analysis of queer rights in law and policy.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Mezey, Susan Gluck, Children in Court: Public Policymaking and Federal Court Decisions, State University of New York Press (Albany, NY), 1996.
Mezey, Susan Gluck, Disabling Interpretations: The Americans with Disabilities Act in Federal Court, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 2005.
American Political Science Review, March 1, 1990, Deborah A. Stone, review of No Longer Disabled: The Federal Courts and the Politics of Social Security Disability, p. 317; March 1, 1997, Susan E. Lawrence, review of Children in Court, p. 194; March 1, 2001, William T. Gormley, Jr., review of Pitiful Plaintiffs: Child Welfare Litigation and the Federal Courts, p. 216.
Choice, March 1, 2001, D.R. Imig, review of Pitiful Plaintiffs, p. 1347; December 1, 2005, H. Hahn, review of Disabling Interpretations, p. 741; September 1, 2007, J. Barth, review of Queers in Court: Gay Rights Law and Public Policy, p. 179.
Journal of Law & Family Studies, September 22, 2002, Spencer H. Gunnerson, review of Pitiful Plaintiffs, p. 339.
Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, June 22, 1998, Brian K. Gran, review of Children in Court, p. 541.
Journal of Politics, August 1, 1989, Stephen B. Wood, review of No Longer Disabled, p. 754; August 1, 1997, Susette M. Talarico, review of Children in Court, p. 940.
Judicature, January-February, 1997, Katherine Hunt Federle, review of Children in Court, p. 192.
Justice System Journal, March 22, 2001, Elizabeth Ellen Gordon, review of Pitiful Plaintiffs, p. 232.
Law and Politics Book Review, January 1, 2006, Staci L. Beavers, review of Disabling Interpretations, p. 4; June 1, 2007, Sharon Whitney, review of Queers in Court, p. 462.
Law and Social Inquiry, September 22, 1988, review of No Longer Disabled, p. 848.
Perspectives on Political Science, June 22, 2003, Robert W. Langran, review of Elusive Equality: Women's Rights, Public Policy, and the Law, p. 167.
Policy Studies Journal, December 22, 1996, Isaac Unah, review of Children in Court, p. 679.
Political Science Quarterly, March 22, 1989, Francis E. Rourke, review of No Longer Disabled, p. 175; December 22, 2000, Caren G. Dubnoff, review of Pitiful Plaintiffs, p. 648; March 22, 2006, Bradley D. Hays, review of Disabling Interpretations, p. 165.
Prairie Schooner, December 22, 2000, review of Pitiful Plaintiffs, p. 648.
Public Administration Review, November 1, 2000, review of Pitiful Plaintiffs, p. 592; July 1, 2003, review of Elusive Equality, p. 508.
Reference & Research Book News, September 1, 1996, review of Children in Court, p. 41; August 1, 2003, review of Elusive Equality, p. 169; November 1, 2007, review of Queers in Court.
Social Service Review, June 1, 2001, Anthony Michael Bertelli, review of Pitiful Plaintiffs, p. 344.
Women & Politics, September 22, 1994, Dorothy McBride Stetson, review of Elusive Equality, p. 88.
Loyola University in Chicago, Political Science Department Web site,http://www.luc.edu/ (April 21, 2008), faculty profile.