The following letter was submitted to Radnor Patch by Anne Bowen Poulin, Professor of Law at Villanova University School of Law. Send your letters to be published to Sam.Strike@Patch.com.
The judicial election that will take place in November offers Delaware County voters the opportunity to elect an exceptional judge: Steven Chanenson. Steve represents everything we should look for in a judge.
Steve is a brilliant lawyer and law professor. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago School of Law, Steve served as a judicial law clerk, first to a judge on the United States Court of Appeals and then to a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He then became a federal prosecutor, serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in Chicago. Before teaching, he also worked in private practice at a leading Chicago law firm.
Since he joined the faculty of Villanova University School of Law in 2000, Steve has become a nationally recognized authority in sentencing law. He is the elected Chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and was appointed by three governors - both Democratic and Republican – to serve on the Commission. He leads workshops for judges in Pennsylvania and has lectured throughout the United States and internationally on issues affecting the criminal justice system.
At Villanova Law, Steve has also run the annual Matthew J. Ryan Forum on Law and Public Policy. Founded in honor of Matthew J. Ryan, who served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for over 40 years, the forum each year brings together a wide range of experts with varying perspectives to address issues of current concern to Pennsylvanians. His work on the Forum and the sentencing commission demonstrate Steve’s ability to bring academic resources to bear on the real problems that confront judges every day.
Steve is a dedicated public servant. His involvement with the Ryan Forum and his work in sentencing demonstrate his commitment to service. In 2005, Justice Clarence Thomas presented him with the Judge Joseph Stevens Award for Outstanding Public Service in the Field of Law, on behalf of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, in a ceremony at the United States Supreme Court.
Steve has the temperament and concern for justice that will make him an outstanding judge on the Court of Common Pleas. As a judge, Steve will understand the importance of every case and will treat every person who appears before him fairly and with respect.
I have known Steve as a colleague for more than a decade. He will be an exceptional judge. He will bring depth, insight, and objectivity to the bench. He has always been concerned with the practical effect of the law and the practical impact of legal decisions. His colleagues know him as fair and even tempered as well as brilliant. If he is elected to the Court of Common Pleas, we will all benefit from his extraordinary talents.
Anne Bowen Poulin
Professor of Law
Villanova University School of Law