Legal Institutions

Semester: 
Spring
Year: 
2013
Subject Name: 

Law, Jurisp & Social Thought

Course Number: 
103
Institution: 
Amherst College

This course will examine the relationship between legal institutions and democratic practice. How do judicial decisions balance the preferences of the majority and the rights of minorities? Is it possible to reconcile the role that partisan dialogue and commitment play in a democracy with an interest in the neutral administration of law? How does the provisional nature of legislative choice square with the finality of judicial mandate? By focusing on the United States Supreme Court, we will consider various attempts to justify that institution’s power to offer final decisions and binding interpretations of the Constitution that upset majoritarian preferences. We will examine the origins and historical development of the practice of judicial review and consider judicial responses to such critical issues as slavery, the New Deal, and abortion. The evolving contours of Supreme Court doctrine will be analyzed in the light of a continuing effort to articulate a compelling justification for the practice of judicial intervention in the normal operation of a constitutional democracy.

Limited to 50 students. Spring semester. Professor Douglas.

Linked Course: 
N
Instructor Permission Required: 
Y
Schedule #: 
LJST-103-01-1213S

Course Sections

Legal Institutions
Sect # Credits Instructor(s) Instructor Email Meeting Times Location
01 4.0

Lawrence Douglas

lrdouglas@amherst.edu

TTH 11:30AM-12:50PM

FAYE 115