Daily Archives: March 17, 2017

Another Fascinating Day

An update from Amanda O., a first-year studying history and political science: Today was particularly special because our class was given a special tour of the Supreme Court beyond the gates of the public. Professor Kobylka even arranged the Clerk of the Court to talk to our class and answer our questions in the Nan Rehnquist Tea Room, the official meeting place of the spouses of the justices. There we were able to ask about various aspects of Court life: how emails are affecting the traditional paper communication between the justices, how oral arguments affect the decision-making process, even the probability that a case will be heard by the justices (it’s only about .00014 percent, or 70ish out of 50,000,000ish [...]

2017-03-17T11:49:23+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Political Science in Washington, 2017|

Inside the Marble Palace

An update from Michael R., a senior majoring in political science and English: Meting Out Justice & Meeting a Justice My research project is about the causes of the Supreme Court’s sustained behavior that favored desegregation in a series of education segregation cases from Missouri Ex Rel. Gaines v. Canada (1938) to Griffin v. Prince Edward County (1964). In the big picture, this research topic is framed by expectations about the imperfectability of human nature and thus human institutions. Professor Kobylka likes to quote an insight from the Greek philosopher Socrates about the nature of the law that was recorded in one of Plato’s dialogues, The Republic: “Justice is the interest of the stronger.” For the most part, I agree [...]

2017-03-17T11:41:43+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Political Science in Washington, 2017|

Finding My People

An update from Destiny Rose M., a sophomore triple major in political science, English and philosophy, and double minor in public policy and international affairs and human rights: Today was jam packed and wonderful. After waking up early and managing to only fall asleep a little bit on the metro ride into D.C., I got about a half hour of work in the papers of the Justices done before we rushed over to the Supreme Court for our official tour day. We met the Clerk of the Court there, Scott Harris, who told us about the behind-the-scenes while we sat clustered around a table in the Nan Rehnquist tea room. As Clerk of the Court, Scott Harris essentially has his [...]

2017-03-17T11:30:28+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Political Science in Washington, 2017|

Flying By

An update from Emily Anne O., a junior double majoring in marketing and political science: We are over half way through our D.C. trip, and it is flying by! This morning, we went back to the Supreme Court, but this time was even better than the last. First, we met with the Clerk of the Court in the Nan Rehnquist Tea Room, where the Justices’ spouses gather for luncheons and events. The Clerk talked us through what happens behind the scenes when a case comes to the Court, and afterward we got to ask him whatever questions we liked. It was such a unique and special experience to meet someone who plays a huge role in running the Court and [...]

2017-03-17T11:24:39+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Political Science in Washington, 2017|

Still So Much to Learn

An update from Courtney T., a senior triple majoring in political science, history and Spanish, and minoring in law and legal reasoning: With two months left of my undergraduate career, I like to think that I’ve learned a lot—that my opinions matter, that I have a decent sense of how the world works. Today in my research, I came across a letter that Justice Hugo L. Black wrote in reply to a college student’s letter. At first, the letter made me laugh out loud, promptly sharing it with the rest of the group. However, it was also very humbling. The freshman in college had written Justice Black that he was “outraged” by Black’s dissent in Tinker v. Des Moines (1969), which [...]

2017-03-17T11:07:15+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Political Science in Washington, 2017|

Rooms Where History is Made

An update from Hailey B., a junior with double majors in Political Science and Public Policy, and minors in Business Administration and Law and Legal Reasoning: Today we had another adventurous day in D.C.! After a full day in the library on Wednesday, it was exciting to take a quick break to tour the Supreme Court this morning. We first met with the Clerk of the Court in the Nan Rehnquist Tea Room, traditionally where the spouses of the justices gathered. As the clerk, he gets to see the behind the scenes workings of the Court on a daily basis, and we were all excited to meet with him. The visit did not disappoint, and he answered all kinds of [...]

2017-03-17T10:53:57+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Political Science in Washington, 2017|

Supreme Court Visit

An update from Lisa S., a senior majoring in accounting and political science: Two great things happened today: a private tour of the Supreme Court building, and another successful day of research. Thankfully we woke up to a slightly more temperate temperature, which made the walk to the Metro much more pleasurable. After being jam packed with the rest of the D.C. public transportation commuters, we arrived at the trustworthy Madison building to begin our day. It is truly shocking how fast time passes when you are flipping through the justices’ papers doing detective work. We had been working for a little over an hour and I was deep into Justice Blackmun’s notes on United States v. Place. I had [...]

2017-03-17T10:47:02+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Political Science in Washington, 2017|

In Pretoria

An update from Brian Lightner, a second-year Master of Divinity candidate: Let me begin by saying that the purpose of our immersion trip is to explore the meaning of Christian hope and to identify hope that ushers forth from ministries with/by the people in South Africa. That being the framework of today’s adventures, we prepared to depart the hotel from Jo’burg on our way to Pretoria, the legislative capital of South Africa. And, with the rising of the morning sun we were on our way by railways to Pretoria, to encounter vital ministries of hope. Pastor Joel Upon arrival, we were introduced to one of the most non-assuming gentleman I’ve ever encountered, Pastor Joel Mxolisi. He and his [...]