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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
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District judge returns to the U

By Carlos Mayorga

U.S. District Judge Paul G. Cassell announced last Friday that he will rejoin the S.J. Quinney College of Law after submitting his letter of resignation to President George W. Bush.

“We, as a college, are absolutely thrilled to have him,” said Hiram Chodosh, dean of the College of Law. “One does not give up judgeship lightly. It shows how deeply dedicated he is to the issue of victims’ rights and criminal justice.”

Cassell became a law professor at the U in 1991 but left the faculty in May 2002 after President Bush appointed him to the U.S. District Court, making him the youngest person to serve on the court for the District of Utah.

Although Cassell retained strong ties to the U and taught part-time, he decided to return as a full-time faculty member to teach, conduct research and advocate for victims’ rights, such as protecting the privacy of rape victims.

“I felt like I could have more of an impact being involved in public debates rather than resolving conflicts,” Cassell said. “The past few years, I’ve been serving as a referee. I’m looking forward to becoming an advocate again.”

Cassell was highly respected as a scholar before he left to serve on the U.S. District Court, but now he will be able to give students a different perspective of law from the standpoint of a judge, said Bob Adler, associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Law.

“As a judge, they are somewhat constrained about their public opinions,” Chodosh said. “This will allow (Cassell) to have complete academic freedom that he could not have on the bench.”

“We’re in a pivotal point in our country’s history in deciding what the role of crime victims will be in the criminal justice system,” Cassell said.

He will rejoin one of the best and closely-knit criminal law faculty in the country. His return “solidifies the existing strength” of the college, Adler said.

“He is an excellent and very popular teacher and prolific scholar,” Adler said. “His course evaluations are superb, and many students are thrilled he is coming back full time.”

Cassell will begin teaching law classes in the spring.

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