It is with sadness that I write to let you know our colleague J. Woodford (Woody) Howard passed away on May 19 at the age of 85. Woody Howard joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University in 1967. He was a former chair of the department and retired in 1996 as the Thomas P. Stran Professor of Political Science. A highly influential scholar in the field of law and politics, the American Political Science Association recognized his contributions with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. Princeton University Library recently reissued two of his books in paperback and hardcover, Mr. Justice Murphy: A Political Biography (originally published in 1968) and Courts of Appeals in the Federal Judicial System: A Study of the Second, Fifth, and District of Columbia Circuits (originally published in 1981) as part of their Princeton Legacy Library. Howard also published a number of highly influential articles, including an early review of the judicial behavior school, “On the Fluidity of Judicial Choice,” in the American Political Science Review (1968). As he wrote in that APSR piece, “From a research standpoint, an unfortunate by-product of the debate between the “quantifiers” and the “qualifiers”…is that extremes of advocacy have obscured the much more important things that students of the judiciary share in common than the methodological differences which agitate them.” Although written more than fifty years ago, this sentiment I think still captures the intellectual character of our department.
Donations in memory of Woody Howard can be made to the Shriver Hall Concert Series Annual Fund, 105 Shriver Hall, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218-2698 (Johns Hopkins University – Homewood Campus) or to The Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218.
An obituary in the Baltimore Sun is available here.