Art Svenson

Professor, Government

Degrees: Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1979; M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1975; B.A., California State University, Fresno, 1973.

Office: Political Science, Hall of Letters #329

Phone: 909/748-8600 Campus Ext. 8600


Dr. Art Svenson is the David Boies Endowed Chair of Government.

Academic Interests and Areas of Expertise

  • Physician-assisted suicide
  • Medicinal marijuana
  • Federalism
  • Politics and the arts

Description of Research

Recent scholarship focuses on both statutory and constitutional questions generated by certain end-of-life policies of American national and state governments. Does the Fourteenth Amendment nationalize a right to physician-assisted suicide? How does the exercise of Congress’ Commerce Clause power affect state legalization of physician-assisted suicide and medicinal marijuana? What impact might shifting notions of assisted dying for terminally ill, competent adults have on the Supreme Court’s Equal Protection jurisprudence?

Courses Offered at Redlands

  • Constitutional Law: National and State Powers
  • Constitutional Law: Liberty and Authority
  • Criminal Procedure
  • War, Terrorism, and the Constitution
  • The Equal Protection Clause
  • The Burger Court
  • The Rehnquist Court
  • Judicial Process
  • Comparative Judicial Systems
  • Public Policy and Administration
  • Congress and the Bureaucracy
  • American Political Thought
  • American National Government and Politics

Degrees Held

  • B.A., California State University, Fresno, 1973
  • M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1975
  • Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1979

Previous Teaching Experience

Florida International University, 1979-1981

Professional Experience

Professional violinist: Redlands Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Riverside County Philharmonic

Awards and Honors

  • Armacost Award for Faculty Service to Alumni, 2008
  • Centennial Award, 2007
  • David Boies Endowed Chair, 2004
  • Research Award, 2003
  • Mortar Board Professor of the Year, 1992
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, 1983, 1986, 1997


“Death with Dignity’s Emerging Conceit: Could Vacco v. Quill be Losing its Appeal?,” La Verne Law Review, 2009.

“Physician-Assisted Suicide and the Supreme Court: A Decade in the Life of a Constitutional Issue That’s ‘Not Dead Yet,’” with Susan Behuniak, in Making Sense of Death and Dying, edited eBook, Inter-Disciplinary.Net, 2009.

“The Democratizing Effect of Oral Argument,” with Susan Behuniak, The World and I Online, 2006.

Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Anatomy of a Constitutional Law Issue, with Susan Behuniak, Rowman & Littlefield, 2003.

“The Last Rites for States’ Rights? The Graveside Struggles Between the States and Congress over Physician-Assisted Suicide,” Social Science Journal, 2003.


Professional Affiliations

American Federation of Musicians, Local 47

Art Svenson is the Faculty Sponsor of the University of Redlands Mock Trial Team and a University of Redlands Prelaw Advisor.

Quiet the Mind
meditation room

The University’s Meditation Room opened in 2007 and is one of the first “contemplative classroom” spaces in the country.

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