Registration is still open for “The Supreme Court and American Politics,” an eight-week, self-paced examination of the causes and effects of politics on the nation’s top legal institution. The course, hosted by the law school and edX—a premier provider of massive online open courses (MOOCs)—begins Sept. 30. Available entirely online at no cost, the course is hosted by Lyle Denniston, longtime Supreme Court reporter, unofficial dean emeritus of the Supreme Court press corps and UB’s Wilson H. Elkins Professor of Academic Transformation in the University’s Bank of America Center for Excellence in Learning, Teaching and Technology.
Denniston will be joined by a number of distinguished legal scholars from the University of Baltimore in this close look at the Court, which Denniston describes as having a mission, from its founding in 1789, that was “not so dependent upon popularity with the people.” In the decades since, political influence on the Supreme Court has waxed and waned, often depending on the immediacy of the issue at hand. In Bush v. Gore, for example, the Court intervened in a controversial vote count, effectively deciding the election of a president. In other cases, the impact of a decision may take years to comprehend.
Each week, learners will be will presented with videos—both lectures and discussions with one of several guests. These guests will include:
- Gilda Daniels, University of Baltimore School of Law professor and director of litigation for The Advancement Project. Prof. Daniels is a former deputy chief for the U.S. Department of Justice.
- Garrett Epps, University of Baltimore School of Law professor and Supreme Court correspondent for The Atlantic.
- Ron Weich, dean of the University of Baltimore Law School and a former U.S. Assistant Attorney General and Senate Counsel to Senators Harry Reid and Edward Kennedy.
These weekly video lectures and discussions will be supplemented by reading materials and discussions that will help you understand why a national court is, in reality, very different from the politically-chosen national policy branches of government—the legislative and executive branches. Despite this distinction, the Supreme Court of the United States must still be a constitutional partner to these elected bodies.
This online course is ideal for anyone with more than a passing interest in the Court. EdX is a leading provider of MOOCs, and includes Harvard University, Caltech, Imperial College London and dozens of other leading colleges and universities among its partners.
Learn more by visiting edX.