Washington Center

The U.S. Supreme Court

Day and Time: 
Thursday, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Quarter Dates: 
January 11 to March 15, 2018
Semester Dates: 
January 11 to April 18, 2018
Core Seminar

Gay marriage. The death penalty. Abortion. Health care. Cell phone privacy. The U.S. Supreme Court has heard cases on all of these topics in recent years, and its decisions ultimately touch the lives of all Americans. In this class we will study the Supreme Court's place in the U.S. legal system. Topics we will cover include: how a case gets to the court, the justices, the role of lawyers before the court, the purpose of oral argument, the court building and its symbolism, and media coverage of the court. At least once during the semester students will attend an oral argument, and cases currently before the court will be used as a reference point for class discussion. This class is geared not only toward anyone who is interested in the law or government service but also toward anyone interested in working on or being informed about the biggest issues of the day.

Draft Syllabus


*Required for all semester students enrolled in the Congress, Supreme Court, International Policy, International Development and Media seminars:  

The last four weeks of this semester (March 21 to April 18) will be spent in a special topics module taught by Professor Jennifer Diascro on Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. This module will account for 15% of the core seminar final course grade. Syllabus forthcoming. Please contact Dr. Diascro at jennifer.diascro@ucdc.edu with questions. 

Professor Gresko will officially be your instructor of record for the term, responsible for computing and submitting final course grades at the end of the term.

**NO additional registration required.

Course ID: