Political Science 202/
In responding to PART I below your CONCLUSION (that is prediction of what outcome the Supreme Court would reach) is virtually irrelevant. Instead you should focus on two kinds of concerns: (1) what are the criteria that the Supreme Court has developed for responding to the problem set forth and (2) how do those criteria fit the mission of the Supreme Court specifically, and the judicial branch generally under the Madison’s, Marshall’s and Hamilton’s (“Framers'”) visions of government?
The instructions about essay writing from the first two exercises again are modified to fit THIS assignment. Question 3 requires you to “brief” Supreme Court opinions and there are special instructions in that prompt to guide your formatting. The prompt for Questions 1 & 2 require responses that will almost certainly be longer than 7 paragraphs. Nonetheless you should write short sentences with active voice verbs and strive to write tightly organized paragraphs. The best papers will have first and last paragraphs that introduce and summarize your analysis. The “middle paragraphs” should be the essence of your analysis. One sentence (generally the last one) in each of the middle paragraphs should either be in bold or underlined to emphasize the main point of the paragraph. You should write those “main point” sentences first. Then build your middle paragraphs around each of them. Finally after you complete the middle paragraphs, draft your first and last paragraphs, to provide structure for the middle paragraphs.
No paragraph should be longer than 6 sentences. Most will be around four sentences. Most sentences should be no longer than 8 words.
The exercise requires no research. Since the problems are largely fictional and hypothetical, research would probably be more counterproductive than helpful. It is mandatory for all students. No late papers will be accepted. Keep a copy of your paper in the event your original is misplaced.
1. The Misery State University School of Medicine has an elaborate and nuanced student admission’s policy. It deemphasizes grades and standardized test scores. It includes such “intangible” factors as life experiences like family background, economic circumstances and race ethnicity and gender of the candidate. The objective of the admissions program is to develop a highly diverse group of medical students who as doctors will be better able to serve the highly diverse population of Misery.
No racial or gender “quotas” are established, but “points” on an admission score sheet are given to candidates who meet some of the diversity goals identified above in the admissions process. Points can be earned by members of specified racial or ethnic groups. And of course those not members of those groups find themselves less competitive in the admissions process.
A. Discuss whether the Misery State’s admissions policies are compatible with the Supreme Court’s 14th Amendment equal protection decisions in culminating in Brown v Board of Education. (7 points)
B. How does the approach to racial classifications set forth in Brown fit the role for the judiciary set forth by the Hamilton and Marshall? Consider specifically the lessons of Marbury and Dred Scott particularly as applied in situations described above such as Brown and the Misery admissions process? (7 points)
2 The following is a portion of an email from a college president to her campus community.
. . . I understand that, despite the best efforts and intentions of [my] administration, [that] racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive and abhorrent messages continue to be posted to the Yik Yak social media platform. I would like the entire campus community to be aware that we continue to investigate these actions. While we respect and honor the First Amendment rights of all members of our community, and encourage robust discussion of issues, it is important to note that the First Amendment does not protect speech that consists of true threats, incitement to imminent lawless action, and fighting words—words expressed to incite hatred or violence by the listener. This type of speech, as well as speech that intentionally and maliciously intimidates, ridicules, or humiliates others is also not permissible under the [state University’s] Code of Student Conduct. We will continue to pursue the determination of responsibility for these actions with vigor.
A. Is the president’s analysis of the scope of protected First Amendment expression consistent with that of the US Supreme Court particularly in light of the Alvarez opinion? (7 points)
B. How does the approach that the Supreme Court has developed for analyzing First Amendment questions fit the role for the judiciary set forth by the Hamilton and Marshall? (7 points)
3. Brief one of the following cases:
UNITED STATES V ALVAREZ
OBERGEFELL V HODGES
GIDEON V WAINWRIGHT
Brown v Board of Education
Cooper v Aaron
While I expect you to use the brief format discussed in class, again I refer you to some published guides to help you with your formatting 1) here, 2) here and 3) here (7points)
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