This course investigates the United States Supreme Court and its role in politics, government, and society. Other than its constitutional justification, why do we need and have a U.S. Supreme Court? What are some of the most important opinions issued by the Supreme Court that changed society, for the good, and bad? Who are the Court's most important justices? And most of all, how does the Court work?
This course will trace the development of the constitutional doctrine of the Court, the growth of the Court's institutional power, and the Court s interaction with Congress, the president, and society. Discussed are major constitutional law decisions, their political contexts, and the social and behavioral factors that affect judges, justices, and federal court jurisprudence. There will be a strong emphasis on how the Court's decisions have impacted law and society and how the Court helps to maintain a certain kind of society.