Duke Faculty Testify in Congressional Hearings on Child Development, Presidential Authority

Law professor Christopher Schroeder testifies on presidential authority Wednesday.
Law professor Christopher Schroeder testifies on presidential authority Wednesday.

Two Duke faculty members testified before Congressional committees on Wednesday in hearings highlighting Duke's expertise over the wide scope of congressional oversight, interest and structure.

In the morning, Chris Schroeder, Charles S. Murphy Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy Studies, testified before the House Judiciary Committee on "Enforcing the President s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws." Schroeder, who served as assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice from 2010-2012, is a leading scholar on questions of president authority.

Schroeder discussed the discretionary authority of the president in executing laws, the use of executive actions, and the ability of a congressional committee to bring a lawsuit against the president for his methods of law enforcement. Read his testimony here.

Later in the day, Dr. E. Jane Costello, associate director for research at the Center for Child and Family Policy, testified before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs during a hearing on "Early Childhood Development and Education in Indian Country: Building a Foundation for Success." A trained psychiatrist and epidemiologist, Costello's is leading a 20-year study of the effects of poverty upon a child's emotional and behavioral well-being.

Costello joined a panel of practitioners and educators, providing data from a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, which followed 1,400 individuals in western North Carolina, 250 of whom are members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The study measured the long-term effects of investment into children's health, education and welfare by the community and the tribe. Read her testimony here.

Her research was the subject of a recent New York Times article, and Senator John Tester (D-MO), committee chairman, lauded her work saying, "[this] appears to be good research. It should not end up in a file somewhere and not be paid attention to." It was Costello's first appearance before a congressional committee. 

Below, E. Jane Costello talks with Danny Wells of the Chickasaw Nation in Ada, Okla., at the congressional hearing Wednesday.

jane costello