2019-2020 Catalog 
    
    Sep 20, 2019  
2019-2020 Catalog

PG 357 - The United States Supreme Court: Current and Future


This course will focus on the United States Supreme Court as a political institution, with heavy emphasis on the current Court (with projections about future Courts). Topics include: the role of the Court in the judicial and political systems, Court participants (e.g., Justices, litigants, lawyers, supporting personnel, interest groups, etc.), Court processes (agenda-setting, scheduling, arguments, conferences, opinion writing, etc.) and judicial method (with emphasis on the styles associated with current Justices (e.g., originalists, textualists, fundamentalists, traditionalists, pragmatists, libertarians, deferrentialists, etc.) including the role in judicial method of “activism” versus “restraint,” the “living constitution” versus “constitution in exile,” “super-precedent,” change and continuity, and revolution and stability. This is a course on the Court, not on constitutional law. To the extent that legal issues are used as examples, they will be drawn almost exclusively from either the current agenda (e.g., abortion, affirmative action, death penalty, federalism, gun control, physician-assisted suicide, school prayer, and other religious observances, etc.) or possible future dockets (e.g., brainscanning in criminal cases, data-mining computer programming and terrorism prevention, digital rights and intellectual property, reproductive cloning and genetic screening, etc.). Course format will be evenly divided between lecture and seminar. Prerequisite: Either PG 351  or PG 352  or permission of instructor. Group I