422: Five Great Supreme Court Cases

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Term: June 6 – July 11, 2022
Time: Mondays, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET
Credits: 1
Instructor: Paul Salamanca

In this course, we will read and discuss five units of critical cases decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. These will be: (1) McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) and the constitutionality of the Bank of the United States; (2) Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer (1952) and the constitutionality of President Truman’s seizure of the steel mills; (3) Roe v. Wade (1973), Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992), Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022) and the constitutionality of restrictions on abortion; (4) Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) and the constitutionality of limitations of marriage to heterosexual couples; (5)(a) Lynch v. Donnelly (1984) and the constitutionality of governmental displays of creches; and (5)(b) Zelman v. Simmons-Harris (2002) and the constitutionality of educational vouchers. Our twin goals will be to explore these cases on their own merits and to explore how they fit into a larger understanding of the role that the Supreme Court has played in our governmental system. Students will be asked to read edited versions of these cases before class, along with brief notes. The instructor will use the Socratic Method to conduct the class, calling on students randomly and by name to elucidate the key facts and analytical points of each case. The final examination will consist of several essay questions.