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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
( April 6, 1998)
SDSM& T PROFESSOR ADMITTED TO PRACTICE BEFORE U. S. SUPREME COURT / SWORN IN BY JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG TODAY
In a swearing- in ceremony today with U. S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dr. Leland R. Luckhart, SDSM& T Professor of Political Science, was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. Dr. Luckhart was one of 23 attorneys who participated in the special admission ceremony held this morning in the U. S. Supreme Court Chambers. Following the swearing- in ceremony, Justice Ginsburg hosted a breakfast for the group.
Dr. Luckart has taught at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology since 1970. He recently completed two post- graduate law degrees at the University of Washington School of Law- an L. L. M. in International Environmental Law and an L. L. M. in Law and Marine Affairs. As a law student, he held a research appointment with the Northwest Regional Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA). Luckhart's appointment with NOAA involved him in one of the largest successful environmental damages suit brought by a federal agency. NOAA recovered approximately $ 40 million in damages from the Cities of Seattle and Tacoma, Washington, for pollution of Puget Sound under the Superfund statute.
Luckhart has recently taught courses in U. S. Environmental Law and International Environmental Law & Policy. He also has pursued his research interest in the Law of the Sea, one of the longest negotiated international environmental agreements that required twelve years to complete, and the Public Trust Doctrine, a public law principle developed to protect the public's interest in coastal and inland water resources.
" This accomplishment demonstrates that the caliber and quality of our faculty members cut across all the disciplines at our science and engineering university," said Dr. Richard Gowen, SDSM& T President. " Dr. Luckhart has been a valued and dedicated member of the SDSM& T faculty for nearly three decades. The South Dakota Tech family congratulates him on this prestigious achievement."
Dr. Luckhart was admitted to practice law in South Dakota in 1976 after completing a Juris Doctorate at the University of South Dakota. He completed two Bachelors Degrees and a Masters Degree in Political History at the University of Wyoming.
" My interest in environmental law began with a summer law school course I took at the University of Akron School of Law in 1972," stated Luckhart. " This was during the time when the Cuyahoga River caught on fire several times and our national interest in environmental protection was becoming more than a passing concern."
In the spring of 1994, Luckhart was granted a sabbatical leave from SDSM& T to pursue a degree program in environmental law at the University of Washington School of Law. " At age 55, I was not certain whether I could keep up with the bright, younger law students, but I
managed and was grateful for the opportunity," said Luckhart. " Perhaps the greatest benefit for me was becoming a student again after 20 years- my only regret was not starting sooner."
Joining Dr. Luckhart at today's swearing- in ceremony was his wife, RaVae, who is Professor of Art at SDSM& T.
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