L8659 S. The Roberts Court
Section 001, Spring 2019
Section Description Provided by Instructor
The seminar will examine in depth the jurisprudence of the Roberts Court, from October Term 2005, when Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito were elevated to the Court, until the present. We will begin with an overview focusing on the aspirations that Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito articulated for the Court and their roles on it at their confirmation hearings and on identifying the major themes of the Roberts Court’s jurisprudence. We will then devote each class session to an in-depth exploration of a particular subject matter area. Topics will include: the separation of powers; national security; the scope of congressional power and federalism; freedom of speech; freedom of religion; race; substantive due process and equal protection; substantive criminal law and criminal procedure; access to courts, and other topics. In each class session, we will explore through close reading and vigorous discussion a small number of the Court’s defining opinions on the particular topic.
Our principal source materials will be the opinions of the Court itself, supplemented with materials from the briefs and oral argument transcripts in some of the most important cases, as well as secondary readings. Each student will be expected to write four one-page response papers over the course of the seminar on the reading materials for a particular class. In addition, each student will be expected to write a final paper of approximately 15 double-spaced pages.
Admission by permission of instructors. Applicants should submit a transcript, CV, and one-page statement of interest (in PDF format) to Sophia Sunseri - [email protected] - by 5 pm on November 5, 2018.
Prerequisites: Constitutional Law. In addition, Administrative Law/Legislation and Regulation and The First Amendment a plus.
M 4:20-6:10 pm
Method of Evaluation
J.D. Writing Credit
Minor (upon consultation)
Instructor permission required