Supreme Court Spring2011

As part of the political science course “Law, Politics and the Supreme Court,” students and Political Science Associate Professor Joe Kobylka are spending spring break 2011 in Washington, D.C. The students are conducting research on Supreme Court cases at the Library of Congress.

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The perfect library

Hannah%20.jpg An update from Hannah, a sophomore political science and Spanish major who is investigating Justice Brennan’s obscenity jurisprudence and the way it evolved over the course of his tenure on the Court:

I didn’t think it was possible, but every day in D.C. has gotten better and better. Today was packed; we had a VIP tour of the Supreme Court, continued our research at the Library of Congress, and ate our St. Patrick’s day dinner at Bullfeathers, a bustling bar and grill in the heart of D.C.

The Supreme Court was amazing! I have never been so awed by a building. The grandeur of the Great Hall and the majesty of the Courtroom were breathtaking. Flush with detail and ornate carvings of historical figures and allegorical depictions, every room was an onslaught of beautiful scenes. My favorite room, if I was forced to pick – because they are all gorgeous – was the library. I could not have imagined a more perfect library; the ceiling was high and, like everything else in the building, surrounded by carved images; the reading area was spacious, bright and encircled by rows and rows of books. It is impossible to do the beauty of the room justice (pun intended) in a blog post, so I will conclude by saying that it can only be experienced.

After our tour was complete, we headed to the one-and-only official Supreme Court Gift Shop located inside the building. Needless to say, this was an occasion for die-hard Court fans to drop some serious cash on all manner of Supreme Court memorabilia.

When we headed back to the library to continue our research, I was filled with a new appreciation for the papers I was investigating. It’s one thing to know where they came from, but just being in the building made the experience so much more real for me.

I cannot believe tomorrow is our last full day in D.C.; the week has literally flown by. Despite some minor incidents of hair pulling I have loved everything about my time here. Trip to D.C.? The Court says YES!

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