Supreme Court Seminar

In this seminar, students will read actual briefs and argue cases currently before the United States Supreme Court.  Each class will be conducted in the manner of oral arguments before the Supreme Court, with students serving (on a rotating basis) as both justices and advocates.  The cases argued will be selected from the most important cases to be heard before the Supreme Court this term. This will likely include, among other cases, challenges to the constitutionality of the Individual Insurance Mandate, government power to prohibit “fleeting” obscenities over the airwaves, whether churches are exempt from workplace antidiscrimination laws, and whether states may require workers to contribute union dues to be used for political purposes without notice and opportunity to opt-out.

Sequence and Prerequisites: None.

Evaluation: The grade for this seminar will be based primarily on in-class performance as both a “justice” on the Supreme Court and as an “advocate” in one or more assigned cases. The one written assignment will be a final judicial opinion, chosen by the student from among the cases argued during the class “term.”