Spring 2020 Course Schedule

Jurisprudence / Justice Breyer (LAW-795JB-001)
Brent Newton

Meets: 05:00 PM - 05:50 PM (Tu) - Yuma - Room YT17

Enrolled: 14 / Limit: 14

Administrator Access


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This one-credit seminar, with the ability for students to add one or two additional credit hours as part of an independent study project, will focus on the jurisprudence of Associate Justice Stephen Breyer since he was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1994. Each student will focus on one specific area Justice Breyer's jurisprudence, including but not limited to: (1) his approach to statutory interpretation; (3) his approach to constitutional interpretation; (3) administrative law and role of administrative agencies; (4) civil rights; (5) civil liberties; (6) constitutional criminal procedure; (7) federal criminal cases (statutes & rules of procedure ?? non-constitutional law and non-sentencing issues); (8) federalism; (9) non-capital sentencing (statutory mandatory minimums and sentencing guidelines); (10) the death penalty; (11) international law and legal "globalism"; and (12) how his interests in economics and science have influenced his jurisprudence. be assigned as well. Students are free to propose their own topic.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

There is no casebook for this course. The reading assignment for the first class appears below. For the remaining classes, students will not have reading assignments and, instead, will spend their out-of-class time researching and writing their papers.

First Class Readings

Reading assignment (background material on Justice Breyer):

Lincoln Caplan, A Workable Democracy: The Optimism Project of Justice Steven Breyer, HARVARD MAGAZINE, https://today.law.harvard.edu/workable-democracy-optimistic-project-justice-stephen-breyer/ (Mar./Apr. 2017);

Jeffrey Rosen, Breyer Restraint, NEW REPUBLIC (July 11, 1994), https://newrepublic.com/article/73765/breyer-restraint;

David Cole, Justice Breyer v. The Death Penalty, NEW YORKER (June 30, 2015), https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/justice- breyer-against-the-death-penalty.

Also read:

Richard Posner, Legal Pragmatism Defined, 71 U. Chi. L. Rev. 683 (2004);

Kathleen Sullivan, Tribute to Justice Stephen Breyer, 64 N.Y.U. Ann. Surv. Am. L. 25 (2008).


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