Judicial Philosophy in Theory and Practice: Justice Scalia and His Critics (SC)
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This course introduces students to the art of judging by focusing on the late Justice Scalia, on his scholarly writings, on his opinions, and on the arguments of his critics. The course will attempt to explore all sides of the debate about Justice Scalia's many years on the Court; it will consider whether there is any criteria by which judicial decision-making in general and Justice Scalia's decisions in particular can be evaluated other than whether the decisions accord with one's views or sense of what's fair, reasonable, or good policy. With Justice Scalia's views as a point of departure, the course will attempt to discern both the normative case and some of the appropriate occasions for the Supreme Court to defer either to the letter of the law or to the decisions of other branches of government.
In addition to class participation, students will be evaluated on a paper (12-15 pages) to be submitted via EXPO no later than two weeks after the last class session by 4:30 pm (EST).
*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.
**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.