Monday, February 25, 2013

Predictions: Fisher v. University of Texas

At The Volokh Conspiracy blog, George Mason University Law Professor Ilya Somin writes: oral argument in Fisher v. University of Texas largely bears out what most observers expected - five conservative justices seem inclined to strike down Texas' affirmative action program. After presentations in class, do you agree with Professor Somin: will the Supreme Court eliminate race as a component of UT-Austin's wholistic admissions program by a narrow margin? 
MAKE A PREDICTION: what will the Supreme Court decide in Fisher v. University of Texas? Will the court uphold the university's admissions policy or strike it down as unconstitutional? Recalling that Justice Kagan has recused herself, what will the margin be? (4-4, 5-3, 6-2, 7-1, 8-0)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Selecting Judges

Wow - he looks intimidating!
States have developed a variety of methods for selecting judges. For example, Texas' judges are elected - from the local Justice of the Peace all the way to Justices of the Texas Supreme Court. And in Virginia, on the other hand, judges are appointed by the state legislature - and then must be reappointed from time-to-time. What method of selecting judges best guarantees that judges will serve effectively in all of the ways envisioned by the Founders:

Should judges be appointed (for life) or elected?

Now that you have read Federalist #78, be sure to explain Hamilton's point-of-view on lifetime appointments as well as your own.