August 26, 2012 · 1:30 PM
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Our July meeting was well attended, and very interesting. We’ve covered a lot of territory: the Philadelphia Constitutional convention of 1787, where it all begun; the Anti-Federalists’ deep concern about the Court’s enormous power; FDR’s experiment with “court packing”; and the inner workings of the Supreme Court (including how it decides which cases to hear and the surprisingly important role of the justices’ law clerks).
We also touched on some specific cases, such as Marbury v. Madison, Plessy v. Ferguson, Prigg v. Pennsylvania, and Minersville School District v. Gobitis. We even took up a couple of “taboo” subjects (at least according to society’s unwritten rules about what you can and cannot politely talk about): Roe v. Wade and the “Obamacare” decision. I’m very pleased to note that everybody stayed civil while discussing these “hot” topics – that is what makes this group of people very special.
There were many more issues we discussed…by the end of the meeting, we all realized that two hours is simply not enough time to cover all we wanted to cover. The decision was unanimous, without any dissenting opinions (!) or further discussion: Next meeting, we will tackle Part II of the “U.S. Supreme Court” discussion.
There’s one thing we agreed to do differently in our second “Supreme Court” meeting. To keep ourselves focused, we will concentrate on Supreme Court decisions regarding the following issues:
2) Race (related to slavery, but not the same issue);
3) Free speech; and
4) Public education.
These four topics should keep us busy for two hours. Afterward, we will render a verdict about our September meet-up topic.
You know the rules by now. Be courteous to others. Bring a snack to share. (Fruits, veggies and other healthy snacks are especially appreciated). Kindly put $2 in the donation can to cover the cost of running this group.
Note: in August, the meeting will be held on the fourth instead of the usual third Sunday of the month. I’m looking forward to seeing you guys on August 26th!