Supreme Court Seminar (3)
The purpose of such a course would be to explore how the Supreme Court functions as an institution in the political system. The following topics would be considered (possibly others as well):
- Origins and development of SC, its changing and expanding
- SC and the federal and state court systems
- Selection and backgrounds of justices (+ clerks, Solicitor
General); leaving the Court; proposals for reform
- Business of SC--significance of changes in its docket over
- Structure of agenda, decisionmaking procedures and norms, rule
of 4, defensive denials, development and philosophy of
certiorari jurisdiction, etc.
- Who are the litigants? Changing profiles of litigants (esp. role
of Solicitor General as party and amicus)
- Decisionmaking on the merits: briefs, oral argument, conference,
opinion assignment and writing, dissents and concurring opinions
- Theories/Models of decisionmaking: attitudinal model,
institutional and strategic models, etc.
- SC in the political system--relationship with other courts,
Congress, Executive, public opinion, media
- Impact of SC, SC opinions and social change
- Judicial Review and theories/modes of constitutional interpretation
- SC compared to other "constitutional courts"
Students may not take both this offering and Supreme Court Seminar:Recent Cases and Controversies.
Current & Previous Instructors:
Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course
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