PubPol 750.009

PubPol 750.009: Topics: Supreme Court

Fall 2022
Monday, Wednesday
10:00-11:20 am EDT
Course Location
Course Section
U-M Course Number
Credit Hours

Instructor: Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt

Judge Laurel Beatty Blunt serves on the Tenth District Court of Appeals for the State of Ohio, after serving for ten years on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.  Prior to serving as a judge, she was the Director of Legislative Affairs and Counsel to the Voting Rights Institute for the Ohio Secretary of State, where she was the liaison to the Ohio General Assembly and the 88 county boards of elections.  She received her J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and a B.S. in Psychology magna cum laude from Spelman College.  Long bio: 

How do the judges on the Supreme Court make their decisions? What were the real issues in cases such as Roe v. Wade, and is it possible that the Court would overturn this decision? How do judges in different eras decide cases differently? The Supreme Court is a unique contributor to public policy in the United States, and as such is a frequent topic of academic and media discussion and analysis. You may be well acquainted with how some previous decisions are interpreted from a political perspective. Yet you may have been left wondering, why certain cases were decided the way that they were.

In this course, we will explore some of the most influential and significant cases, and how they came to be decided. Beginning with Marbury v. Madison, every week or two, we will analyze a new case. For each case, in addition to understanding the reasoning of the Court, we will understand the background, the political or social context of the case, the legal arguments involved, how select subsequent cases have interpreted it, and how the case influenced public policy.