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Sports officiating and teaching constitutional law … Two interests that seem like an unlikely combination, but for Michael Dimino, it’s a perfect match. Officiating allows him to be involved with the two sports he loves-hockey and baseball. His role as a constitutional law professor however, allows him to pursue a different passion of his, a passion for politics and the government. Professor Dimino sees a natural connection between officiating baseball and hockey games and instructing future lawyers about constitutional law in that officiating “involves the application of rules to the facts of individual cases.”
Contrary to where he may stand on the fields of play, Professor Dimino’s career path didn’t start on the sidelines. While studying as an undergraduate student, he took two courses on constitutional law. It was in the spring of 1998 where, thanks to an internship in the Public Relations Office of the Supreme Court of the United States, he realized his love for law was real.
“Once I found out that I loved studying the law, the Court, and the Constitution, I knew that I would enjoy law school.”
Today he shares his enthusiasm for law with others, as he serves as a law professor at Widener Commonwealth Law School in Harrisburg, PA. Every semester he has the opportunity to teach a new group of students, which “always makes teaching seem new and exciting.”
“Teaching gives me the opportunity to think and talk with students about some of the most interesting and timeless questions that have been asked throughout history,” Professor Dimino says. “When we consider issues of government power and individual rights, the students and I get to challenge each other to think not just about what justice is, but about the proper role of the law – and lawyers – in achieving it.”
Plus, while teaching Constitutional Law Professor Dimino is able to share with students his favorite constitutional case-Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002), a case which struck down restrictions on campaign speech in judicial elections.
“The case is one of the few instances where the Court has engaged in an open analysis of the ‘political’ behavior of judges both on and off the bench,” Professor Dimino says. “It appropriately suggests that there is not quite as much of a difference between judges and politicians as we might like to believe.”
When Professor Domino isn’t officiating or teaching, he could be found writing. He is the author of Voting Rights and Election Law, a law school text book covering the law surrounding the electoral system which is available at the LexisNexis® Store.
The above photograph is from the USA Hockey 2014 National Championship tournament where Professor Dimino was refereeing.