Spring semester, 2009
John E. Semonche
Jordan M. Smith
Students will find these web sites useful during the course.
The assignments listed below are to be read in preparation for class on the day listed. The titles listed below, except for the Semonche book, are available in Student Stores. You will find the simulations in a coursepack shelved among the other course packs in Student Stores.
- Update on Urofsky & Finkelman Text
The authors include material, including cases, that supplement the coverage in your text.
- Previews of Cases Coming Before the Supreme Court
A site maintained by the American Bar Association that covers cases on the Supreme Court's docket for the present and recent terms. The site includes briefs and access to the Supreme Court opinions when they are issued.
- Annotated Constitution of the United States
Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of the United States explained and analyzed by article and section.
- Oyez: A U.S. Supreme Court Database
A visual tour of the Supreme Court; selected oral arguments in significant cases; biographies and portraits of Justices; and written opinions since 1891.
- Current Supreme Court Decisions and Selected Historical Decisions
Decisions are added to the database the day that they are delivered. The database also contains 580 historial Supreme Court decisions.
- Selected Statutes of the United States
A chronological selection of important federal laws
- 13. Introduction to the course and field of study; and the Constitution in Urofsky & Finkelman, A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States, Vol. II: From 1877 to the Present, 2d ed., pp. A5-A21. (hereinafter cited as Text)
- 15. Semonche, Keeping the Faith: A Cultural History of the U. S. Supreme Court, pp. 1-68. (hereinafter cited as Semonche)
- 20. Semonche, pp. 69-129; and Urofsky & Finkelman, Documents of American Constitutional and Legal History, Vol. II: From the Age of Industrialization to the Present, 2d ed., pp. 515-21, 539-43. (hereinafter cited as Documents)
- 24. Simulation No. 1: The Supreme Court Determines the Citizenship of Children Born of Alien Chinese Parents.
- 26. Semonche, pp. 129-34; Text, pp. 487-520; and Documents, pp. 499-515, 524-27.
- 31. Text, pp. 521-71; and Documents, pp. 522-24, 528-39, 543-54.
- 2. Documents, pp. 555-69; Semonche, pp. 135-68; Text, pp. 572-97; and Documents, 569-79.
- 7. Simulation No. 2: The Senate Considers the Nomination of a Supreme Court Justice.
- 9. Text, pp. 598-623; and Documents, pp. 579-601.
- 14. Text, pp. 624-62; and Documents, pp. 601-39.
- 16. Text, pp. 663-86; and Documents, pp. 640-43, 647-67.
- 21. Text, pp. 687-89; Documents, pp. 669-78; and Simulation No. 3: The Senate Decides On a Proposal to Enlarge the Size of the Court.
- 23. Text, pp. 689-712; Semonche, pp. 169-213; and Documents, pp. 680-88, 693-99.
- 28. TAKE-HOME EXAMINATION DUE
- 2. Semonche, pp. 169-213; Text, pp. 713-30; and Documents, pp. 678-80, 688-92, 699-705.
- 7. Text, pp. 731-51; Documents, pp. 705-11, 668-69; and Irons, The Courage of Their Convictions: Sixteen Americans Who Fought Their Way to the Supreme Court, pp. 13-62. (hereinafter cited as Irons)
- 9. Text, pp. 752-72; Documents, pp. 718-29, 783-85; and Simulation No. 4: The President's Cabinet Debates Executive Deployment of American Troops Under The North Atlantic Treaty.
- 14-16. SPRING BREAK.
- 21. Semonche, pp. 215-61; and Irons, pp. 81-104, 179-203.
- 23. Text, pp. 773-816; Documents, pp. 714-18, 729-40, 760-64, 766-71, 778-80; and Irons, pp. 105-27.
- 28. Text, pp. 817-42; Documents, pp. 644-47, 711-14, 740-43, 747-54, 757-60, 771-78, 780-85; and Irons, pp. 205-52.
- 30. Text, pp. 843-94; and Documents, pp. 743-47, 754-57, 827-30, 839-43.
- 4. PAPER DUE
- 6. Text, pp. 895-903; Documents, pp. 785-88; and Simulation No. 5: The Supreme Court Decides On the Constitutionality of Affirmative Action.
- 11. Text, pp. 903-7; Semonche, pp. 263-305; Documents, pp. 853-59; and Irons, pp. 129-52.
- 13. Text, pp. 907-45; and Documents, pp. 788-827, 830-38, 846-53, 864-73, 879-81.
- 18. Semonche, pp. 307-50; Irons, pp. 281-329, 355-78; and Documents, pp. 988-94.
- 20. Text, pp. 946-97; and Documents, pp. 899-903, 917-22, 930-34, 942-55, 959-63, 970-81, 1001-18.
- 25. Semonche, pp. 351-406; Irons, pp. 379-403; and Documents, pp. 893-98, 909-16, 922-30, 934-42, 982-94, 1019-32.
- 27. Text, pp. 998-1027; and Documents, pp. 874-79, 890-93, 964-70, 1032-48.
- 5. FINAL EXAMINATION, noon- 3 p.m.
1. The publishers of your text and documents book have endeavored to keep the treatment up-to-date by providing you with access to a website that does just that. To get very recent decisions of the Supreme Court you will have to tap into other sites listed at the beginning of the online syllabus, but for cases and other matters linked to your reading consult the following URL: http://ww3.oup-sus.org/sc/0195126343. Feel free to explore this site prior to the due date of the assignment listed above.
2. The five simulations listed above are class exercises that are designed to involve you in the decision-making process. They are bound together with an introduction in a coursepack. Together you will work through to solutions that may or may not accord with the historical record.
3. Most of our other class time will be spent in discussing the reading and its implications. It is imperative that you keep up with your assignments on a daily basis, for much of what comes later is built upon a firm understanding of basic concepts as they are developed. Also, without daily preparation you will not understand what is going on in class and be ill-prepared at examination time. The reading is not light, but let me know if you are unable to complete it within a reasonable time.
4. The home page for the course, which includes the online sylllabus and a useful array of web sites, including some on impeachment, is located at http://www.ibiblio.org/semche/history/syl15805.html.
5. One take-home mid-term examination is listed in the syllabus. You will be given the exam approximately one week before the due date listed. If there is class demand an optional quiz can be given sometime in early April. Assuming only the mid-term examination, it will count 30% of your course grade. The paper will also count 30% and the final exam 40%. Good class participation in the simulations and discussion may result in raising your grade in the course. Conversely, poor performance in class simulations and discussion periods may result in lowering your grade in the course.
6. Troubled in the past by term papers that are onerous in the doing and in the reading, the following options are presented:
Both of these options leave you considerable room to do the type of work that you consider most useful. The guidelines can be made more definite, but at this time they are presented as ideas that you can shape in terms of your own interests and talents.
- a. Prepare a simulation following the guidelines of those used in the course. You can use any historical event or episode that falls within our time period and that relates to some constitutional matter. If the class is interested, we may be able to run some of the simulations prepared.
- b. Use the simulation material and the corresponding class period as one of your sources for dealing with the historical problem simulated.
Because in any group there are individuals who have some special interest that may not fit into either of the first two options, a third option is presented. With prior approval from the instructor any student wishing to do a traditional term paper on a manageable subject can do it. If I am correct in the assumption that a paper has more value if it arises from our class periods, most of you will see the worth of taking one of the first two options. Those of you who, upon reflection, feel differently will not be at any disadvantage in pursuing the more familiar.
Length of the "papers" will vary with the option selected, but as a target let us figure about 15 double-spaced typewritten pages. Whether you write more or less is not important; what is important is doing the job you select well.
Remember the due date of the papers is April 4, 2006.
7. John Semonche can be found in Hamilton 416, and his regular office hours will be from 10:15-10:45 a.m. TuTh, and 2-3:15 p.m. Jordan Smith will be available by appointment. Do, however, take the opportunity to schedule times that will be most convenient to you. Semonche's office phone number is 962-8079; and his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His home page can be found at http://www.ibiblio.org/semche/history/jackweb.html.
This page was created by John E. Semonche. It was last updated January 2006. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to contact Semonche here.