Yale Alumni College - Spring 2015 Princeton, NJ


"D&R Greenway" Johnson Education Center - Princeton, NJ


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“Current Constitutional Controversies in the Courts"
Tuesdays, March 17th - April 21st: 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Keith Whittington, Yale ’92 MA, ’95 PhD., William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton University -Click Here for Professor Whittington's Biography.

Are you intrigued or passionate about the great issues of our time that find their way into the Court system?

Professor Whittington will select important cases - directly concerned with these issues - that are now making their way to or at the Supreme Court, and we will study the cases, the issues they raise, as well as foundational documents that illustrate the historical, political, and philosophical background to these issues. It is likely that some of the cases may be decided during our course!

The course presents a unique feature: the cases/topics we will study will be partially determined by the interests of the class participants itself! The first week’s session will be introductory, and the remaining five weeks will each take up one case/topic. Professor Whittington has prepared syllabi and readings for eight topics; we will pick five of them at the first session.

The course is in seminar format. The perspectives that we bring to the course through our life experiences will enhance our ability to learn from each other. There will be readings, but the load will be very manageable. All readings will be provided via free electronic download. We will meet on six consecutive Tuesday evenings between 7 and 8:30 PM.

Formal Description:
This course will look at the legal, political and philosophical issues associated with current constitutional controversies being decided in the American court system. The seminar will focus on cases that are making their way through the lower federal courts and the state courts, some of which may soon be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The readings and discussion will explore the background of the issues raised and the key constitutional arguments at stake in the disputes. No prior legal or constitutional expertise will be assumed.