April 12, 2004
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.-Paul M. Smith, the attorney who successfully argued the landmark case of Lawrence v. Texas, involving the constitutionality of Texas sodomy law, before the Supreme Court last year, will speak on "Lawrence v. Texas and the Current Supreme Court" on Monday, April 26, at 7 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Amherst College Democrats, Smith's talk is free and open to the public.
Smith, a managing partner at Jenner & Block in Washington, D.C., specializes in the Supreme Court, and media and First Amendment practices. His two decades of active Supreme Court practice include oral arguments in 12 Supreme Court cases. Besides Lawrence, Smith has argued recently in Norton v. Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, involving off-road vehicles and damage to desert wilderness areas, Vieth v. Jubelirer, a congressional redistricting case, and United States v. American Library Ass'n, involving a First Amendment challenge to the Children's Internet Protection Act.
Smith also worked on such First Amendment cases before the Supreme Court as Rubin v. Coors (1995), dealing with restrictions on beer labeling, Reno v. ACLU (1997), involving a challenge to content restrictions for the Internet in the Communications Decency Act, and Masson v. New Yorker Magazine, Inc. (1991), a significant defamation case.
A political science major, Smith graduated from Amherst in 1976 and received a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where he served as editor of the Yale Law Journal. The following year, Smith was a law clerk to United States Court of Appeals Judge James L. Oakes, and, from 1980 to 1981, a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.