Supreme Court Term 2015/2016: Cases and Issues

This is a six-week course rather than an 8-week course

Facilitator:      Eric Waples, 577-1827, ewaples1@aol.co Dates:             Mondays, March 28—May 2, 2016      Time:              1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Text:               News and magazine articles on current Supreme Court                                           Presentations:  Voluntary, but encouraged
 
As the nation heads into the 2016 election year, the Supreme Court (with justices already split along ideological lines) is poised to decide a number of politically charged cases. If the Court issues a 5-4 decision in most of these cases, it will reinforce the impression that the new President's potential appointments to the Court are likely to tip the law significantly to the right or left. We will review and discuss the most significant politically charged cases of the 2015/16 Court Term. Participants will volunteer to present the key issues in each case for general class discussion guided by the presenters and the facilitator.

Presentations are not mandatory, but the expectation is that 2-3 class members will present each case. The facilitator will introduce Supreme Court procedures, the internal dynamics of the Court and resources for researching individual case issues.

Course Outline:
1. INTRODUCTION: Supreme Court Procedures, internal dynamics, resources and general issues concerning the Roberts Court                                                             2. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION (Fisher v. University of Texas) Campus diversity v. equal protec on rights
3. VOTING DISTRICTS (Evenwel v. Abbo ) One-person-one-vote--equal vo ng rights v. equal representa on rights
4. UNION "FAIR SHARE" FEES (Friedrichs v. California Teachers Associa on) Mandatory 'fair share" fees v. 1st Amendment'compulsory speech" rights
ABORTION (Whole Women's Health v. Cole) Health and safety restrictions v. abor on rights "undue burdens"
5. ACA CONTRACEPTION COVERAGE (Zubik v. Burwell) Equal protec on health coverage v. undue burdens on religious liberty IMMIGRATION (Texas, et. al. v. U.S.) Statutory construc on and separa on of powers issues
6. MISCELLANEOUS ISSUES: DEATH PENALTY; 2ND AMENDMENT RESTRICTIONS; 4TH AMENDMENT SEARCH AND SEIZURE; FEDERALISM & "PREEMPTION"; UNENUMERATED RIGHTS; INTERNET & FREE SPEECH; PROPERTY RIGHTS; UNIQUE COLORADO CASES