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Robert C. Power

Emeritus Professor of Law

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Phone: 717.541.3980

“A good class session is like learning how to ride a bike. Teachers help students stay upright on the bicycle until the students can balance and pedal forward at the same time. It’s a great feeling for all of us.” 

Robert Power teaches constitutional law, criminal law, and criminal procedure. A former attorney for the United States Department of Justice Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, he brings a wealth of practical knowledge and scholarly expertise into the classroom.

His most recent law review article was on the portrayal of the criminal justice system in fiction. He writes widely in constitutional law and criminal law, and has become increasingly focused on Freedom of Speech issues. He is currently working on articles about the international aspects of constitutional rights and the constitutional law of curfews. He is now collaborating on a book for law students tentatively titled “A Short and Happy Guide to the First Amendment.”

Professor Power has been active in a number of professional and civic organizations, including the American Bar Association, Section on Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice and the Rhode Island Bar Association. He has regularly spoken before community and academic groups on constitutional law, the law of higher education, organized crime, criminal law, and ethics.

Professor Power previously served as vice dean and dean of faculty research and development. From 2007 to 2009, he was the H. Albert Young Fellow in Constitutional Law.

Selected Publications

  • A Short and Happy Guide to the First Amendment (West Academic Publishing 2016).
  • Strategies and Techniques for Teaching Constitutional Law (Wolters Kluwer 2012).
  • “Just the Facts”:  Detective Fiction in the Law School Curriculum, in Murder 101:  Essays on the Teaching of Detective Fiction 178 (Edward J. Rielly, ed., McFarland & Company 2009)
  • The Wire and Alternative Stories of Law and Inequality, 46 Ind. L. Rev. 425 (2013).
  • “Intelligence” Searches and Purpose:  A Significant Mismatch Between Constitutional Criminal Procedure and the Law of Intelligence-Gathering, 30 Pace L. Rev. 620 (2010).
  • Lawyers and the War, 34 J.Legal Prof. 39 (2009).
  • Pinochet and the Uncertain Globalization of Criminal Law, 39 Geo. Wash. Int’l L. Rev. 89 (2007).
  • The Path to (And From?) Judicial Independence, 5 Cardozo Pub. L. Pol’y & Ethics J. 603 (2007) (reviewing Charles Gardner Geyh,  When Courts and Congress Collide:  The Struggle For Control of America’s Judicial System (2006)).
  • Changing Expectations of Privacy and the Fourth Amendment, 16 Widener L.J. 43 (2006).
  • Federalism,  Fig Leaves, and the Games Lawyers Play, 12 Widener L.J. 551 (2003).
  • Rulemaking Developments, 8 Widener J. Pub. L. 419 (1999).
  • Reasonable and Other Doubts: The Problem of Jury Instructions, 67 Tenn. L. Rev. 45 (1999).
  • The Fourth Revolution, 52 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 1699 (Winter 1996).
  • Affirmative Action and Judicial Incoherence, 55 Ohio St. L.J. 79 (1994).
  • Integrating Theory With Practice, 1 Widener J. Pub. L. 193 (1992).
  • The Textualist, 84 Nw. U. L. Rev. 711 (1990).
  • The Education of Robert Bork, 10 U. Bridgeport L. Rev. 7 (1989).
  • Technology and the Fourth Amendment: A Proposed Formulation for Visual Searches, 80 J. Crim. L. & Criminology 1 (1989).
  • The Fast Food of Modern Legal Realism, 68 B.U. L. Rev. 507 (1988) (reviewing Richard Neely, Judicial Jeopardy: When Business Collides With The Courts (1986)).
  • Help Is Sometimes Close at Hand: The Exhaustion Problem and the Ripeness Solution, 1987 U. Ill. L. Rev. 547.
  • Comment, Emergency Jurisprudence: Interim Relief Granted by Circuit Justices, 69 Nw. U. L. Rev. 436 (1974).
  • Comment, Presumptions and Due Process: Congress Attacks Organized Crime, 68 Nw. U. L. Rev. 961 (1973).
  • Intelligence Searches” and Criminal Investigative Purposes, 38 Search and Seizure L. Rep. 1 (2011).
  • Essay, The No Longer Forgotten 11th Amendment, 5 Penn B. Ass’n News & Views  (Penn B. Ass’n Gov’t Law. Comm.) Fall 2002,  at 7.
  • Tribute, Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Chief Justice Nix:  He Will be Missed, 13 Widener L. J. 463 (2004).
  • Introduction, Modern Ethical Dilemmas for ALJs and Government Lawyers: Conflicts of Interest, Appearances of Impropriety, and Other Ethical Considerations, 11 Widener J. Pub. L. 1 (2002).
  • Regulating Petroleum Prices: The Law That Would Not Die, 1987-88 Preview U.S. Sup. Ct. Cases 280.


AB, Brown University
JD, Northwestern University School of Law


Professor, University of Bridgeport (now Quinnipiac University)
Associate Professor, University of Bridgeport (now Quinnipiac University)
Trial Attorney, United States Department of Energy, Washington, DC
Associate Attorney, James M. Shannahan, Providence, Rhode Island
Trial Attorney Honors Program, United States Department of Justice, Organized Crime and Racketeering Section

Bar Admissions

New York
Rhode Island


Association of American Law Schools

Media Coverage

The Daily Item
Robert Power provided expert commentary on 8/9/16
Experts: Civil penalty against rock throwers possible in Budd suicide
Similar stories appeared in The Stanley News & PressThe Record Eagle, and Press Republican

Lancaster Online
Robert Power was quoted on 10/26/15
Suspension should do it: Kane needs to step down

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Robert Power provided expert commentary on 10/22/15
Kane continues as Pennsylvania's attorney general despite loss of license
Similar story appeared in the Bucks County Courier Times.

The Patriot-News
Robert Power, provided expert commentary on 8/10/15
AG Kathleen Kane fights charges and public perception under pressure to resign

Smart Talk
Robert Power, provided expert commentary on 8/7/15
Charges against AG Kathleen Kane - context, history, and the law

The Burg
Robert Power, provided expert commentary on 7/31/15
Bond Don: Mayor for Life or Head of the Family?

York Dispatch
Robert Power, was quoted on 6/26/15
Former York County Employee Asks DA to Probe Reilly Campaign Work

York Dispatch
Michael Dimino and Robert Power, provided expert commentary on 6/24/15
Reilly campaign work broke law, but extent of wrongdoing unclear

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Robert Power, quoted on 03/19/14
Political bribery can be tough to prove

faculty directory a-d e-k l-p q-z