Supreme Court Litigation Seminar
J.D. Seminar 469
| 2 credit hours
This seminar seeks greater understanding of the nature of Supreme Court decision-making by exploring the litigation process before the Court. It will do so by a combination of participation as advocates and judges in moot courts, and attendance at Supreme Court Institute moot courts, guest appearances by experienced and well-known Supreme Court advocates, as well as a combination of readings, in-class discussion, and short lectures.
Topics to be discussed include the certiorari process, strategic considerations in briefing before the Court, the role of amici curiae, the Office of the Solicitor General and its impact on the work of the Court, and the significance of oral argument to the decisional process. We will work primarily with original materials: filings before the Court, transcripts or recordings of oral arguments, and meetings with Supreme Court advocates. We will also read secondary material addressing the subject matter of the course. The objective is to gain a better sense of what Supreme Court opinions and orders mean through an appreciation of the process culminating in their promulgation.
Students will be expected to be prepared to participate at each seminar meeting. Course grades will be based on classroom participation, as well as on two five-to-ten page papers and one oral presentation. That participation will include extensive discussion of the substantive material assigned for each week, and of the three cases argued during the current Term on which the class will focus. The oral presentation will be a short mock argument in the context of one of the Supreme Court cases.
Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I: The Federal System (or Democracy and Coercion). Strongly recommended: Constitutional Law II: Individual Rights and Liberties. Recommended: Federal Courts and the Federal System.
Students may not receive credit for this seminar and the Supreme Court Advocacy Seminar.
Enrollment is limited to 3Ls, 4Es, and 3Es.
FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class.
Students must also generally be available to attend three Supreme Court Institute moot courts over the course of the semester that are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. and Friday afternoon from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Availability to attend at these times is a class requirement over other commitments.
||Room / Days / From-To
(CRN #: 10508)
||Ayer, Donald B.