Fall 2013
    Law No.: LAW7697
    Sched. No.: 113821702

Supreme Court Decisionmaking (SC)
Section 1
Owen, Matthew S.
Twomey, Katherine I.

Administrative Information:
During SIS enrollment, check on SIS for real-time enrollment numbers
Days, Times (Room):MTWR, 0820-0950 (WB114)
Credits:1Type:Lecture - short course
Capacity:21 **This information is current as of 04/23/2014 06:15:10 AM**
Current Enrollment:18 **This information is current as of 04/23/2014 06:15:10 AM**

Course Description:

This short course meets Monday-Thursday, 8:20-9:50 a.m., October 21-31.

This course will provide an introduction to decisionmaking in the Supreme Court of the United States through the lens of one pending case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, No. 12-696. Town of Greece presents the question under what circumstances a legislature may open with a prayer without violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. We will begin by examining the precedents leading to the issue in the case, along with some legal scholarship dealing with theoretical issues posed by the Court’s Establishment Clause jurisprudence. We will then focus on the mechanics of the case, including how the First Amendment issue was litigated in the lower courts and how the parties presented the case during certiorari-stage briefing—using that as an opportunity to discuss the Supreme Court’s case-selection process more generally. We will then review the merits briefing, analyzing the parties’ arguments and discussing the broader implications of the different ways the Court might resolve the case. We will also discuss oral argument and hope to be able to offer the students an opportunity to attend the oral argument at the Supreme Court. We will conclude the course by discussing the opinion drafting process, and, in lieu of an exam, students will prepare draft opinions resolving the case.

No background in the First Amendment is necessary for this course.

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENT: Attendance at all class sessions is required. Enrolled students who do not attend the first class session will be dropped. Students seeking to enroll in this short course must attend the first class session.