The Supreme Court: Before, During, and After Ruth Bader Ginsburg (SC)

Section 1ZO, J-Term 21

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 10/16
Credits: 1

Course Description

This course will consider several facets of Justice Ginsburg's legal career. SESSION #1: RBG as litigator before the Court. This session will focus on Ginsburg’s career as a litigator before the Supreme Court, with special attention to her work in Reed v. Reed, Frontiero v. Richardson, and Weisenfeld v. Weinberger. This session will also consider litigation paths that did not reach the Court, but that Ginsburg believed were absolutely essential to the project of sex equality. These cases include, Cox v. Stanton (sterilization) and Struck v. Secretary of Defense(pregnancy discrimination/abortion). SESSION #2:: RBG as jurist. This session will focus on the first part of Ginsburg’s career as a judge and justice. We will consider some of her decisions on the D.C. Circuit, her relationships with colleagues on the Circuit (Justice Scalia and Judge David Bazelon, in particular), as well as her career as one of two women justices on the Supreme Court. SESSION #3: RBG as Notorious. This session will consider the second part of Ginsburg’s career as a justice, her role as a dissenter, and her unlikely turn as a pop culture icon. We will read and discuss many of Ginsburg’s notable writings, including her dissents in Goodyear Tire v. Ledbetter, Hobby Lobby, and Shelby County v. Holder. We will also consider Ginsburg’s response to the Court’s increasing conservative bent, her efforts to bolster protections for reproductive rights, and her decision to remain on the bench. We will also consider whether the justice as pop culture icon is good for the Court as an institution. SESSION #4: The Post-RBG Court. This session will consider the ways in which Justice Ginsburg’s passing will change the Court and the country. We will discuss Justice Ginsburg’s successor, and her record, the role that “identity politics” plays in judicial appointments, what a 6-3 conservative majority will mean for the Court and its current docket.

Course Requirements

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

Final Type (if any): None
Description: None
Final Exam Notes:


Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required to submit a paper via EXPO by Feb. 5th at noon (details to be announced).

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: (Constitutional Law (6001)) Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Notes:

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: