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In Brief

Conversations@BCLaw Provokes Political Discussion

Rep. Bobby Scott is first guest in new discussion series.

Photograph by Adam DeTour

To launch its new discussion series, “Conversations@BCLaw,” which features alumni leaders in politics interviewed by Professor Kent Greenfield, the Law School invited eleven-term Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott ’73 to be the inaugural guest.

The wide-ranging discussion on April 15 touched on everything from Congressman Scott’s Law School years under what he called the “inspirational leadership” of Dean Robert Drinan —“he showed what you should use the law for,” Scott said—to his fifteen years in the Virginia General Assembly to his humorously vehement denial of interest in being a US Supreme Court judge.

“Do you think you’d enjoy that?’ Greenfield asked.

“No. No.” Rep. Scott laughed. “It’s like writing a term paper every week. It would drive me crazy!”

On a more serious note, Rep. Scott took issue with campaign finance laws that enable corporations and wealthy individuals to control elections, and he expressed surprise and disappointment that “little bodies riddled with assault weapon bullets” at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 didn’t become a turning point for gun control reform. He noted, however, that Obamacare, by providing mental health parity, may at least strengthen gun violence prevention efforts.

Another law, the Youth Promise Act, which Scott championed, aims to reduce violence not by waiting for young people to drop out of school, get into trouble, and end up in prison, but rather by taking “a comprehensive, evidence-based, locally tailored approach to get kids on the right track and keep them on the right track so they don’t get into trouble in the first place,” Rep. Scott said.

Among other matters touched upon were gay rights (Rep. Scott was an early advocate), the Affordable Care Act (he supports it but feels that “the defense of Obamacare has been totally incompetent”), and political discourse. Rep. Scott says it has suffered in Washington, DC, from the loss of newspapers whose explanatory journalism deepened peoples’ understanding of issues.

To view the interview, go to

Each Conversations@BCLaw is being streamed live on the web, and future audiences are welcome to join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #atbclaw and Twitter handle @kentgreenfield1.