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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There and back again: A tale from the LOC

An update from Hannah, a political science and Spanish major who is conducting research on the Supreme Court’s change in commerce clause jurisprudence since 1937:

Well, friends, here I am again, back in the Library of Congress to spend my spring break reading through the justices’ papers – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So far the trip has been just as amazing as the one two years ago. Our schedule is essentially the same as last time – 8:30 to 5 in the library poring over papers and then relaxing and preparing for the next day in the evenings. While going on the trip a second time might sound redundant, it has truly been a new experience for me. I have gotten to know a whole new set of classmates and am exploring new issues in the papers.

Today I got to go through some of Justice Blackmun’s folders for the first time, which was fascinating albeit a bit overwhelming. His papers are very helpful to my research due to the fact that Blackmun took copious notes and kept everything related to each case.

In addition to finding new things in the library, I have enjoyed bonding with my peers in the class (shout-out to my roomies for not judging me about my creepy gloves this time!) They are all researching such interesting topics, and it is fun to learn from them as they go through the papers as well.

OK, friends, I am headed to bed so I can be sure to be well rested for our tour of the Supreme Court tomorrow!

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