No class meeting today

Welcome back, everyone! I hope each of you had a good break.

There’s been a change of plans for today. In place of our class session, please spend some time considering the following:

  1. What aspects of your writing would you most like to work on during the second half of the semester?
  2. What political issues would you most like to explore both in your own writing and with a team of your classmates during the next several weeks?

Please come to class on Tuesday prepared to discuss these questions. We’ll finalize group assignments by the end of the week, after we’ve taken time on Tuesday and Wednesday to jointly select our issue areas.

Immigration “cases”

I’ve emailed each of you with a hypothetical immigration case. Between now and Wednesday, see what you can find out about whether a person in the scenario you’ve been given could immigrate to the United States, and if so, how long the process would take.

Start with the information available from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services site. Click on “Green Card,” then “Apply.” Read through that page, clicking on any appropriate links there to get an overview of the process.

You can learn more about the process at the State Department’s page on the immigrant visa process.

As you explore, you’ll no doubt come across the term “priority date.” You’ll want to find out what that is. Priority dates can be checked at the Visa Bulletin for October 2016.

A minor change

Don’t be overly concerned if you don’t finish the Mornin article prior to tomorrow’s class. Instead of discussing the article, we’ll be watching a film from PBS that deals with government surveillance and digital privacy.

We’ll discuss both the film and the Mornin article in class on Monday, so be sure to finish reading the article by then.

Following up with some links

I’ll bring printouts to class tomorrow, but if you’d like to get a head start, here’s a link to the opinions in Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld. The Syllabus tab is what you’ll see by default (right under the case title). Click on the Case link next to it, and you’ll see what you need. Both concurring opinions (which are very short) are on the same page.

You may also find it helpful to read the American Bar Association’s “How to Read a U.S. Supreme Court Opinion.”

Also, as a followup: the name of the case I was trying to remember in class yesterday is United States v. Windsor. If you follow that link, you’ll see that Oyez.org has sidebar links to the various opinions, as well as general information about the case (so I wasn’t completely crazy in thinking that I should have been able to see those links yesterday; I think they’re missing because Wiesenfeld is an older case). You’ll also see that my memory was faulty; the Justices did split along the typical ideological lines in Windsor.