Federal Jurists To Teach Classes on Supreme Court, Role of Judges

Pamela Harris, Jed Rakoff, Amul Thapar and Vince Chhabria

Judges Pamela Harris, Jed Rakoff, Amul Thapar and Vince Chhabria will be teaching seminars at UVA Law.

December 17, 2018

University of Virginia School of Law students will have the opportunity during the January and spring terms to absorb the knowledge and wisdom of four federal judges in separate course offerings.

Judge Pamela Harris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will teach Current Issues in the Supreme Court. Through the lens of recent cases, students will study the court’s doctrine in emerging areas, as well as the court’s decision-making process, dynamics among the justices and the role of Supreme Court advocacy.

U.S. Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York will teach Science and the Courts. Students will examine numerous and increasingly sophisticated ways in which science and scientific evidence impacts the legal system and how scientifically unsophisticated judges try to deal with it.

Judge Amul R. Thapar of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will teach Originalism in Theory and Practice: Justices Scalia and Thomas, with Professor Emeritus Lillian R. BeVier. After a brief study of the assumptions and philosophical commitments underlying originalism and textualism, the course will focus on cases in which U.S. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas applied their common philosophy and reached different outcomes.

Also in January, Sir Jack Beatson, a retired member of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales, and a fellow of the British Academy, will teach National Security, Human Rights, and the Courts, with Professor Paul Stephan ’77.

In the spring, U.S. Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California will teach Federal District Court Practice, examining the practice of law in federal district court, primarily from the perspective of the judge.

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