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Academic Bulletin Freshman Tutorials - 2008-09 - 8 FT 8

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FT 08-G The Supreme Court

Todd McDorman, Department of Rhetoric

The Supreme Court is one of the most revered and respected American institutions. It represents justice, it preserves the Constitution, it serves as a co-equal branch of government in America’s system of checks and balances. However, it is also an institution that few people spend much time studying—or even thinking about. In this freshman tutorial we will study the history, the personalities, and the cases that have made the Supreme Court what it is. We will study the Court’s humble beginnings when it had little power and even less prestige. We will discuss and examine some of the dominant personalities of the Court—John Marshall, Roger Taney, Earl Warren, William Brennan, William Rehnquist, Sandra Day O’Connor, Atonin Scalia, and others. And we will consider and debate some of the cases that have made the Supreme Court, from Brown v. Board of Education to Roe v. Wade. Course assignments will include an essay and speech on a Supreme Court justice, an essay and speech critiquing a Supreme Court decision, and participation in a moot court style appellate argument.

Credits: 1