1. In cases like Obergefell, the public will judge a justice more by the result obtained than by the legal logic employed to get there” (Collins and Skover 40). What does the above quote by Collins and Skover mean? Using evidence from Kaplan and the Collins and Skover readings, how do Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade fit or not fit this characterization? [2 paragraphs] What did the Court do in Brown to instill the public’s confidence in its decision? Were they successful? Why or why not? [1 paragraph] Given the sharp backlash the Court received after deciding Roe, should the Court have reasoned the case differently, like they did in Brown? Why or why not? Besides the specific case consequence (constitutionally protected right to choose), how did the Court’s decision in Roe alter the American political landscape? [1 paragraph] Please remember to support all of your answers with course assigned readings.


2. “By entering what he previously had warned was a ‘political thicket,’ Frankfurter wrote that the Court hadn’t learned from self-inflicted trauma.” Without mentioning Dred Scott or Lochner, he said Baker was ‘a massive repudiation of the experiences of our whole past in asserting destructively novel judicial power’” (Kaplan, 179). (A) Explain what Justice Frankfurter meant with this statement, including a discussion of how opinions of the Court exercising its power have changed over time. What were opinions of judicial intervention like during the Dred Scott and Lochner eras versus in the Brown v. Board and Baker v. Carr eras? How were they similar or different? [1-2 paragraphs] (B) Opinions on judicial activism and restraint also invoke the bigger question of when (and in what circumstances) the justices should intervene in a particular case. Summarize Collins and Skover’s approach to this problem: When should the Court embrace a case? When should it avoid doing so? [1 paragraph] (C) According to Collins and Skover, as well as Kaplan, should the Court have intervened in Bush v. Gore? Was the ruling in this case another example of the Court entering the “political thicket” that Frankfurter had warned about? Why or why not? [1 paragraph]

3. When deciding to decide, the Supreme Court’s docket consists of thousands of cases each term. According to Lane and Black (2017), how does the Supreme Court decide what cases to hear? [1-2 paragraphs] Once the Court has agreed to hear a case, scholars argue that the legal briefs on the merits are extremely important in determining the case outcome. Please discuss Black et al.’s (2016a) argument. What are their results? Are legal briefs important, why or why not? Do they actually help persuade a justice to vote in favor of a litigant? [2 paragraphs]

 
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