Political Science in Washington, 2017

Associate Professor of Political Science Joe Kobylka and the students in his Honors Program class “The Supreme Court Seminar” are spending six days in the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., doing research in the papers of former Supreme Court Justices. Each student has developed a unique research topic, question, and design, and will use the justices’ papers to find evidence to help answer the question and write a culminating original research paper.

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Last Night in D.C.

An update from Anna Grace C., a sophomore majoring in fashion media and minoring in law and legal reasoning:

We flew back to Dallas today and I am still surprised by all we accomplished in the Library of Congress. I have pages of notes about the cases I researched, and I could not be more excited to start to look through them and begin answering my research question. The last few days in the reading room were similar to the second day: we had the hang of it and everyone was enthralled with the work they were doing.

Our last night in D.C. was incredible. We finished up in the reading room at 5 p.m. and went to dinner. After that, we walked around and saw several monuments. The Lincoln Memorial was my favorite. There is a certain gravity around the steps of the memorial. As I walked up the steps I was more in awe of Lincoln and what his presidency stood for. Before walking down the steps I had an incredible view of the mall. You can see the Washington Monument, the capitol and the reflecting pool. At night, the view is enchanting. The lights reflect off the white marble of the city’s buildings. This makes America’s most famous structures look clearer against the backdrop of night than they do during the day.

I think the research I did this trip made me appreciate seeing the monuments more. It was an interesting juxtaposition to hold pieces of history and then to see what all of those memos, decisions and people amount to. It put what I was researching into a larger context and that was a wonderful and rewarding way to end our time in Washington, D.C.

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