OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Donna C. Schuele

Portrait of Donna C. Schuele

Donna C. Schuele is a faculty member in the political science department at California State University, Los Angeles. She teaches courses in civil rights and civil liberties; government power and accountability; American constitutional and legal history; gender, politics, and law; and the Supreme Court. In addition she regularly teaches lifelong learning courses for the Road Scholar program and the Chautauqua Institution, and speaks to community groups such as the League of Women Voters. She was awarded a Recognition for Teaching Excellence by the American Political Science Association in 2013. Her research focuses on the interaction of law and politics in American society across the nineteenth and twentieth century. She is currently writing a biography of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and most recently contributed the essay, "Love, Honor, and the Power of Law: Probating the Avila Estate in Frontier California," to On the Borders of Love and Power: Families and Kinship in the Intercultural American Southwest (2012). Her work has also been published in the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, Law & Social Inquiry, the American Journal of Family Law, Western Legal History, and California History, and her commentaries in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

This lecture focuses on the Supreme Court's understanding of the 14th Amendment's guarantee of liberty to secure reproductive rights for women over the past ninety years.
This lecture examines the unique political climate that not only led to the nomination and confirmation of an obscure state court judge as the first woman to serve on the United States Supreme Court, but also set the stage for the increased influence of the New Right in the Reagan Administration.
This lecture focuses on the President's power during wartime, the ways in which domestic and international law have defined that power, and presidents' efforts to push the limits of power from the nineteenth century to the present.
This lecture examines the role of the "swing justice" on an ideologically divided Supreme Court, particularly focusing on Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy from the 1980s to the present.
This lecture examines the transformation of the Second Amendment as securing an individual right to bear arms and its application by the Supreme Court to limit the rights of state and local governments to regulate gun ownership and use.
The issue of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act has deep roots in the Supreme Court, beginning in the 1930s and running through the Court's transformation by Republican Presidents Nixon and Reagan. This lecture discusses the ways in which changes in personnel have led to changes in law that impacted the Supreme Court's ultimate 5-4 decision to uphold Obamacare.
This lecture examines the life and times of the first woman to campaign for the nomination for president by a major political party, focusing on the intersection of gender and race and the lessons her campaign provides for interpreting Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency.
This lecture situates the 1870s battle for woman suffrage in frontier California within the national movement, as it splintered into rival organizations seeking the allegiance of local activists, and examines the unique circumstances of the California movement as it sought to avoid entanglements that would interfere with its goals.
This lecture focuses on the woman suffrage movement's strategy to gain the vote nationwide in the wake of the ratification of the 14th and 15th Amendments, using civil disobedience, the courts, and Congress.
This lecture examines the experience of a prominent land grant family in Los Angeles during early statehood, as battled over the inheritance of a 22,500 acre rancho in an American adversarial legal system that gave scant credit to the cultural norms that had governed family power in the Mexican system.