Political Science in Washington, 2013

As part of the University Honors Program political science course “Law, Politics and the Supreme Court,” students and Political Science Associate Professor Joe Kobylka are spending spring break 2013 in Washington, D.C. The students are conducting research on Supreme Court cases at the Library of Congress.

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A connection to a defining moment

An update from Brandon F., a sophomore political science and accounting major who is conducting research on the development and eventual end of Brown v. Board’s doctrine of “All Deliberate Speed…”:

Looking back on the week, all I can say is WOW!

Spring Break in Washington, D.C., turned out to be the most academically satisfying experience of my life. My research, which focused on the period of desegregation, gave me a new sense of the magnitude of the Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. The papers at the Library of Congress allowed me to look directly through the eyes of the Supreme Court Justices, an experience that was truly one of a kind. Each day I was able to examine the evolution of the cases, making me feel as if I was in the room when the decisions were made. This feeling, of being directly tied to a defining historical moment, is not one I will soon forget.

Although sightseeing was brief, without a doubt the coolest moment of the trip was our tour of the Supreme Court. Being inside the Courtroom and walking up to the Bench was a Supreme Court nerd’s dream. Unbelievably, we then caught a glimpse of Chief Justice John Roberts in one of the Court’s many conference rooms!

Over the course of the week our class grew more and more unified, eventually becoming a mini-family. Although the research aspect was amazing, it is the small moments with my many new friends that defined the trip.

In conclusion, I would like to thank my classmates, the Richter Foundation, Professor Kobylka, and especially the wonderful employees of the Library of Congress Manuscript Division for making this week possible.

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