Law Professor Talks with OPB about Oregon’s Leaders

Two recent OPB Radio stories on Oregon's newest elected leaders turned to Norman Williams, director of the Center for Law and Government, for his expertise.

In a story on U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, who was sworn in about 100 days ago, Williams said that the senator would need time to get settled in before becoming a dealmaker. "He is the most junior senator, along with the other freshmen, in an institution that is very seniority bound, so he's got to learn the ropes," said Williams, associate professor of law.

Another story on Oregon's newest attorney general noted that John Kroger "has played more of an activist role than his predecessors." Williams said that Kroger's style is becoming more common for attorneys general, but that it also can have drawbacks.

"You will get a lot of media exposure, but with that notoriety comes the dark side of notoriety, which is that people will start criticizing you for using your office in that way, and you'll have to be defending your decisions," Williams said in the story.

Williams teaches courses on constitutional law, administrative law and the U.S. Supreme Court. The Center for Law and Government promotes the impartial study and understanding of federal-state and government-citizen relations through a curricular program, symposia and conferences, and training programs for public and elected officials. Learn more at

To read or listen to the stories, visit

and Learn more about Williams at