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:
- What aspects of your writing would you most like to work on during the second half of the semester?
- 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.
I’ve pushed back the dates of a few of our assignments. Please consult the “Assignments and grading” page and the course calendar for details.
Please note the three short readings now listed on the calendar for Wednesday, October 12.
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.
Due to a conflicting meeting, I won’t be able to keep my office hours today. As always, if you need to see me and scheduled office hours don’t work, feel free to contact me about making alternate arrangements.
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.
We will not have class on Monday, September 12. Please check your Saint Mary’s email for details.
Welcome to the Political Issues (W) course! I look forward to meeting each of you.