Professor James Todd at September Meeting

The Supreme Court has an outsized influence on American life, and the lifetime appointment of justices means an ideological inbalance in the court can resonate for years. The President’s replacement of Antonin Scalia with Neil Gorsuch maintains the balance for now, but future vacancies will be fraught with peril.

Our guest speaker in September is an expert in this area and did his dissertation on the evolution of Supreme Court power in America. A professor at PBAU with 10 years of experience as a practicing attorney, Professor James Todd will give us his insights on the current Supreme Court dynamics.

Please join us at the Airport Holiday Inn on Wednesday September 27.

Professor James Todd
Assistant Professor of Politics
Politics and Pre-Law Department
Palm Beach Atlantic University

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Program Noon – 1PM, Buffet starts at 11:30AM

Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center

Palm Beach Airport
1301 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
Phone: 561-659-3880

$25/Members $30/Guests
Pay at the door.

Make sure you submit your RSVP in advance by clicking on our link below:

or by emailing, or by calling 561-855-0749.
  Please respect Club rules: Cell Phones Silenced, Business Casual Attire, Please No Jeans
Republican Club of the Palm Beaches
PO Box 2585
West Palm Beach, FL 33402
(561) 855-0749

Dr. Todd has a B.A. from Jacksonville State University, a J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law, and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama.

Dr. Todd joined the Palm Beach Atlantic faculty in 2015 and specializes in American governmental institutions and constitutional law. He serves as advisor to the pre-law students at PBA and directs the PBA Mock Trial team, and he teaches on the subjects of American government and politics, constitutional law, political science research methods, the Freedom in American Society core course, and courses in the humanities sequence.

His current research focuses on Supreme Court influence in American society. He has presented numerous conference papers on this topic, and his dissertation “Neither Sword Nor Purse: The Development of Supreme Court Influence over Lower Courts” traces the evolution of Supreme Court power in America. He regularly gives public talks about the Constitution and the Supreme Court in the West Palm Beach area.

Dr. Todd spent ten years in law practice, working in real estate law and as an in-house attorney in the oil and gas industry. He is a past member of the board of directors of the American Association of Professional Landmen, an oil and gas industry professional society.

In 2008, Dr. Todd won the Mont Pelerin Society’s F.A. Hayek Essay Contest for his essay “Governments, Peoples, and their Uses of Technology” and received recognition for his award at the Society’s meeting in Tokyo.

Outside of the classroom, Dr. Todd spends as much time as possible with his wife, Annie, their daughter, Elizabeth, and their two rescue dogs, Mr. Darcy and Buckley. He and his family attend Family Church in West Palm Beach.

August Lunch Featured County Commissioner Steven Abrams

August speaker Commissioner Steven Abrams gave us a county update, and some musings on the events of the day today at the Airport Holiday Inn.

As a term-limited Commissioner with 15 months remaining, he described the difficulty in seeking higher office for any Republican in Palm Beach County. After a successful challenge by the League of Women Voters after the 2012 redistricting, in which coastal and inland districts (aligned with unique and different interests) were forced into two east/west districts with significant Democrat majorities, we are left with CD21 (Lois Frankel’s D+17 district) and CD22 (Ted Deutch’s D+14 district which is mostly in Broward). There is also Alcee Hasting’s minority interest district (CD20 which is D+49) and northern CD18 (R+3) which is already held by a Republican – Brian Mast.

Steven joked that Ted Deutch told him how his district had improved – with the Broward area he now has three “Century Villages” and two “King’s Points” – areas where Republicans are an endangered species.

When the redistricting for county offices was in the planning stages, he looked into expanding his district 4 north into Palm Beach (it now ends at South Palm Beach). (“At least he would get invited to better parties.”) Unfortunately, districts have to be contiguous and the minority interest district 7 needed a piece of the island to connect Riviera Beach and WPB sections to Boynton and Delray.

With reference to the unpleasantness surrounding the Mar-a-Lago bookings that have involved local pols, Steven said the county commission tries to stay out of the ‘ideological’ issues that churn in Tallahassee and Washington, and focus on the “pothole” issues – public safety, economic prosperity and quality of life.

In these areas, he described some ongoing projects – a golf development coming to non-aviation airport land, the shooting range being built on SFWMD land at Mecca Farms, and issues surrounding western development like the GL Homes projects and Minto’s “Town of Westlake”.

He also pitched his idea to realize a $15M savings in the budget (over several years), by NOT buying the SFWMD land in the Ag reserve that has been offered and which staff wants the county to purchase. He would rather see it sold to farming families and kept zoned for agriculture.

In other business:

– Fran mentioned that John Clark (one of our scholarship recipients) just got married.
– Our scholarship fund is depleted (please give!) and there will be a fundraiser later in the year.
– Linda Gore mentioned that “Furry Friends” is holding an event in Jupiter on Saturday from 9-3 where you will be able to watch dogs surfing.

Photos from Carol Porter: