Judicial Philosophy in Theory & Practice: Justice Thomas and His Critics (SC)

Section 1, J-Term 18

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 12/12
Credits: 1

Course Description

Justice Clarence Thomas has now served on the Supreme Court for more than 25 years. During that time, in the approximately 500 opinions he has written, he has pursued a unique approach to the task of constitutional and statutory interpretation. He attempts to discern the “original general meaning” of both the constitutional text and of statutes. In doing so, he exhibits considerable willingness to reexamine precedents that he believes distort original general meanings. The purpose of this course is to study Justice Thomas’s original general meaning approach—how he explains and justifies it, what its critics say about it, and how it affects his analysis and dictates his preferred outcomes in actual cases. The aim is to gain as deep and broad an understanding as possible, and assess the significance, of Justice Thomas’s jurisprudence.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required to submit a paper (12-15 pages) via EXPO no later than two weeks after the last class session by noon (EST).

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With:
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Notes: A dinner for enrolled students will be held at Prof. Bevier's home on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 17. NOTE: This course will appear as "Judicial Philosophy in Theory and Practice (SC)" on student's transcript.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*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.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens:
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: