Dr. Craig A. Smith


Department of Humanities


Dr. Smith is the author of Failing Justice: Charles Evans Whittaker on the Supreme Court (McFarland, 2005). He also contributed chapters to books on Supreme Court justices and their law clerks, public reactions to Supreme Court school prayer decisions, and political scandals involving congressional investigations of Supreme Court justices. His research led to several articles for the Journal of Supreme Court History. He continues to work on a new biography of Justice Tom C. Clark.


    • The Craft of History
    • Constitutional Law
    • Judicial Politics
    • History of Religious Persecution
    • History of Law
    • Great Depression and WWII
    • America at War 
    • Revolutions

Research Interests

  • The work of the Supreme Court and its justices
  • How legal decisions impact people's lives

Publications and Presentations

  • Sitting by Designation: an historical analysis of retired Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark serving on lower federal courts, 1967-1977.”  Midwest Political Science Association (Chicago, 2015).
  • “Debunking Douglas: The Case Against Writing Majority & Minority Opinions,” Journal of Supreme Court History 39, no. 2 (2014): 227-45.
  • “Tom Clark Under Fire: The Consequences of Congressional Investigations of Supreme Court Justices.”  In Scandals!  (Bloomsbury, 2014).
  • “Strained Relations: Justice Charles Evans Whittaker and His Law Clerks.”  In In Chambers: Stories of Supreme Court Law Clerks and Their Justices (University of Virginia Press, 2012).
  • “Spreading the Wealth: Justice Tom Clark's Wide-ranging Efforts to Open the Doors of the Law Clerk Ranks.”  Journal of Supreme Court History 36, no. 2 (2011): 129-58.
  • “Thwarting the Court: An historical perspective on efforts to undermine the Supreme Court's school prayer decisions and their effects on religious minorities.”  In The Role of Religion in 21 st century Public Schools (Peter Lang, 2009).

University Responsibilities

  • President's Distinguished Merit Award Committee (service, 2015-2017)
  • Association Pennsylvania State College & University Faculties, local (vice-president, 2014-16)
  • Middle States Periodic Review Report (team leader, 2014-2015)
  • President's Task Force on university shared governance (chairman, 2013-2014)
  • University Coordinator, prelaw advising (2013 - )
  • Faculty Senate (president, 2011-15; 2008 - )
  • Faculty Professional Development Committee (chairperson, 2010-13; 2009 - ) 
  • B.A.: University of Arizona
  • M.A.: University of Missouri-Kansas City
  • Ph.D.: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Email: smith_c@pennwest.edu

Phone: 724-938-6055

Office: Manderino Library Room 440-F