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About Susan Shelley
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Introducing a new voice

Author Susan Shelley is running for Congress to offer new ideas and real solutions based on the principles in the Constitution that have proven through the centuries to be the foundation of freedom and prosperity.

How she got here

Sometime around 1996 Susan had the idea to write a novel about what would happen if the Constitution were amended to remove the guarantee of “due process of law.” The book was planned as a legal thriller set in the future. Susan wrote two drafts of the novel, leaving blank spaces to be filled in with details from the legal research, once she had time to do it.

One week into the research, the premise fell apart.

“Due process of law,” Susan discovered, is not merely a guarantee of legal safeguards for criminal defendants. It’s the key to almost a hundred years of Supreme Court decisions protecting freedom of speech, civil rights, women’s rights, privacy rights, and an endless list of other rights that Americans have come to expect and take for granted. It was completely impossible to believe, even in the suspended-disbelief world of futuristic fiction, that the American people would ever support the repeal of “due process of law.”

Susan faced a choice: abandon the effort, or keep researching to find a way to make the premise work.

At last, she had found a practical use for her history degree from California State University Northridge.

The 37th Amendment was published in 2002, following six years of in-depth research into the Supreme Court decisions which used the Constitution’s due process clauses to expand the reach of the Bill of Rights.

Susan separated the book into two sections, a fast-paced legal thriller and a carefully documented essay on the history of the Bill of Rights. She titled the essay “How the First Amendment Came to Protect Topless Dancing” in the hope that someone might read it.

The 37th Amendment was acquired by law libraries including the Michael E. Moritz Law Library at Ohio State University, the Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas, the Deane Law Library at Hofstra University and the Social Law Library in Boston. It was on the shelves at the University of Houston and at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. It was in public libraries as far away as Wellington, New Zealand, and on the desks in classrooms at Northern Arizona University, where it was used in a Department of Criminology class on wrongful convictions.

Since the publication of The 37th Amendment, Susan has written articles and essays about constitutional issues in the news, using the knowledge she acquired through her research to explain how the Supreme Court’s theory of the incorporation of the Bill of Rights into the Fourteenth Amendment has effectively repealed the Tenth Amendment and replaced it with judicial governance, making millions of Americans feel angry and frustrated and making nominations to the U.S. Supreme Court a central battleground of policymaking.

Today Susan Shelley is running for Congress to offer real solutions based on an understanding of what has caused our problems, not only with constitutional rights but also on issues like tax reform, illegal immigration and privacy. The American people can use the power of the constitutional amendment to secure freedom and prosperity in the United States. There’s nothing fictional about it.

Where she came from

Susan was born in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to California with her family following her junior year in high school. Her father, the late character actor Dave Shelley, appeared regularly in television series including Fame, The Jeffersons, and The Rockford Files, as well as in TV movies, among them The Jayne Mansfield Story starring Loni Anderson, The Triangle Factory Fire with Tom Bosley, and Murder on Flight 502 with Farrah Fawcett and Sonny Bono. A proud member of the Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA and Actors Equity, he was a working actor all of his life. He served on the board of directors of the Synagogue for the Performing Arts in West Los Angeles, where he recruited Susan and her mother, Estelle Shelley, to be on the Greeting Committee for Friday night services. (Read a letter from the Synagogue for the Performing Arts about Dave Shelley by clicking here.)

Susan graduated from El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills and attended California State University Northridge, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in history. While in school, she worked as a part-time secretary to William Morris Agency executive Norman Brokaw and later as an executive secretary to Merv Griffin Enterprises executive producer Robert J. Murphy. Susan was a production assistant to Emmy Award-winning director Dick Carson and became the Associate Producer of the game shows Jeopardy! and Headline Chasers before setting off on her own to work as a writer.

Susan created the original word game tidbits® puzzles, which appeared in newspapers including the Los Angeles Times Valley edition. When newspapers began to cut back on space for features, Susan took tidbits® puzzles to the Internet and also published them in paperback, first with Globe Mini-Mags and later through her own company, ExtremeInk.

ExtremeInk distributes comedian Argus Hamilton’s daily column of jokes on the news, which is carried by newspapers across the country and by web sites including and As the editor, distributor and publicist of Argus Hamilton’s column, Susan brought it to the attention of radio legend Paul Harvey, who quoted Argus’ jokes on his daily broadcasts for many years.

In 2002, Susan published the novel The 37th Amendment and began writing regularly about constitutional issues in the news. Her op-eds were published in the Los Angeles Daily News, the Columbia (Missouri) Tribune and the Fresno Bee. In 2005 she began a blog called America Wants To Know, where she shared thoughts and insights on news events. She predicted that John Boehner would be Speaker of the House two years before the 2010 election that returned Republicans to the majority.

In early 2010, angry at seeing big-government legislation rammed through Congress and tired of feeling like the lone conservative in Los Angeles, Susan founded a group on called Freedom-Loving Fiscal Conservatives in L.A. and sought out opportunities to become active in politics. She served as the Director of Communications for GOP congressional candidate David Benning in the 2010 Republican primary.

When Mr. Benning decided against running in the 30th District in 2012, Susan announced her candidacy.

She believes the time is right for a candidate of pro-growth economic views who also supports the right of privacy. California’s open primary offers Democrats and Independents in the 30th District the opportunity to vote for a Republican who shares their views on many issues of importance to them. Susan is confident that Americans can rise above partisan division and stand on the common ground of greater freedom and prosperity.