904 SP Con Law: Supreme Court Seminar - §003, Spring 2009

Categories: Constitutional Law

Instructor(s) Church, Larry, Paff, Fredericka

Selected Problems in Constitutioonal Law--Supreme Court Seminar: Profs. Paff and Church

This three- credit seminar takes as its subject matter the current docket of the United States Supreme Court. Each week, two or more students argue to the class a case currently pending before the Court. (Occasionally, a case that might reasonably be expected to come before the Court in the near future may be selected.) Prior to this argument, the advocates jointly prepare and distribute a short written summary of the case, including a jointly edited version of the opinion(s) below and the most important of their arguments? a mini-brief. Neither the mini-brief nor the class presentation will be graded.

Each student will also be asked to assume the persona of an actual Justice now on the Court, and to maintain that identity throughout the semester, asking questions as that Justice might be expected to ask, during presentations. At the end of the presentation, each ?Justice? will predict how the actual justice may be expected to vote in the case and why. Finally, each student will also cast a vote personally, for one side or the other, explaining why, briefly. (Because this aspect of the course cannot well succeed if attendance is sparse, regular class attendance will be required.)

At the end of the semester, each student will be asked to submit an individual paper of twenty pages or more, on any Constitutional Law subject he or she desires. This paper will be graded on a letter grade basis; that grade will be the grade for the course. The paper will be due on the last day of exams.

Constitutional Law I is a prerequisite for the course. The course satisfies the Wisconsin Bar requirements for Constitutional Law II. (At the beginning of the course, there will be lectures offering an overview of Constitutional Law II. A student seeking Constitutional Law II credit for the course must also present to the class and write his or her paper on cases or questions dealing with Constitutional Law II issues.)

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