American Government & Political Order

American Government & Political Order

Directions: The purpose of this exercise is for you to become familiar with the working of the federal courts, in this case the U.S. Supreme Court. It is an Article III (of the U.S. Constitution) study tool. Please follow these instructions carefully.

1. Visit the United States Supreme Court website at

2. Select a current Supreme Court Justice.

3. Research the life and some of the significant cases for which this justice has prepared the Court’s written opinion.

4. Prepare a research paper that addresses the following issues:

a. A brief (two paragraph) biography of the subject.

b. What is the justice’s ideological orientation: liberal, conservative, strict constructionist, etc.

c. Discuss two to three significant opinions that this justice has drafted – either as majority opinions, concurring opinions, or dissenting opinions. Your discussion should include the justice’s decision in the case, the Court’s decision, the justice’s reasoning, and its effect on American jurisprudence. d. If you were the justice, would you have come to the same conclusion? Was this holding “good law?” Why??

Address these issues in a paper of four (4) to five (5) pages in length. The paper should be typed, double-spaced, 1” margins, with a font size no larger than 12 point, nor smaller the 10 point. Undertake as much outside research as necessary to adequately answer the question.

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