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The History of the U.S. Supreme Court

  • Jul 15, 2012 · 1:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

It is my great pleasure to announce the subject of our July meeting: The History of the United States Supreme Court.

At this meeting, we’ll explore the history of our nation’s highest court, the Supreme Court, since the Constitution declared its existence in 1789 up to the present day. We will see how the role of the Supreme Court has changed over two centuries. We’ll “meet” some of the justices and take a look at some of the more controversial cases. We might even take sides and have an argument (in a respectful way, of course, as has been our tradition).

Of course, it will be very difficult to cover more than 200 years in just two hours, so we might continue the same topic in August. At the end of the meeting, we’ll form our own supreme court to decide whether this is what we want to do -- or whether we would rather move on to another exciting topic. Hopefully, we’ll vote unanimously!

You are invited to attend regardless of how much or how little knowledge of the subject you have. Researching the subject beforehand is strongly encouraged, but not required. The only requirement is to listen to others politely, and to add insightful comments of your own, if you’re moved to do so.

Important reminder: it has been a tradition of this group during the two years of its existence that everyone brings a snack to share. Let us keep this tradition! Exploring ideas is a hard intellectual work, and with that in mind, we nourish ourselves with nuts, crackers, fruits, veggies or anything else of caloric nature. Juice or other libations are also welcome!

Second important reminder: we respectfully request a $2 donation in order to cover the cost associated with running this meetup.

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  • Marina

    We had a lot of information to share and to discuss. Nice meeting!

    July 18, 2012

  • laura g b.

    I enjoyed this more than any MeetUp in recent memory. We had a good flow of ideas, and some informed opinions from one of our members who's a lawyer. I learned that in 1992, only one justice stood in the way of Roe vs. Wade being overturned. Fascinating topic!

    July 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was great to have several people more knowledgeable than me. I learned a lot.

    July 16, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good on initial moves of the US Legislature. Good on M v. M. Good on how majority and minority opinions later get used as precedent.

    July 16, 2012

  • Alexandra

    It was such a wonderful discussion. Thanks to everybody for coming. I appreciate that some of you have to drive rather far, and I'm grateful that you found this meeting worthy of your trouble.

    I want to give special thanks to Lawrence for sharing his professional attorney's knowledge of the subject. Also, special thanks to Ted and Brian for sharing their knowledge of U.S. history. And, of course, many thanks to Ted and Laura Brown for opening their home to us!

    July 15, 2012

  • Alexandra

    Something you can read in a few day remaining: "The U.S. Supreme Court - A Very Short Introduction" by Linda Greenhouse. Part of "A Very Short Introduction" series. A very short book. Hopefully, your local library has it.

    July 9, 2012

  • Lawrence Y.

    Hi Soren - Here is a link to a 2006 law review article by a professor at Georgetown (you can download the article for free): http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=789384. It specifically deals with the Ninth Amendment, but oftentimes scholarly discussions of the Ninth and the Tenth Amendment go hand in hand. It's a long law review article, but I throw it out there in case anyone finds it helpful.

    July 6, 2012

  • Alexandra

    Thanks for the suggestion, Soren. Yes, this a the right place for the suggestions.

    I'm not an expert on "The Federalist Papers", so I hope somebody more knowledgeable then myself can answer this portion of your question. What I use to prepare for this meeting is the Teaching Company course called "History of the Supreme Court". You can see the description here: http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=8570

    The course is available in LA public library.

    July 5, 2012

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