“I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about law. I learned to look at political topics from more of a legal standpoint in order to find the best and most realistic solutions to prominent issues." — From a program course evaluation
This course examines the United States Supreme Court and several of the major social and legal issues over which it has jurisdiction. Beginning with a brief introduction on how cases are heard by the Supreme Court, we proceed to a wide-ranging look inside America's most hotly debated cases and the issues that shape them. Covering both the substantive and the procedural law, students learn how to identify legitimate arguments for and against each topic and gain an understanding of constitutional challenges and limitations.
Topics under consideration may include privacy rights, freedom of speech, LGBTQ rights and the determination of sex and gender, abortion rights, the death penalty, legalization of marijuana, voting rights, gun control, and coronavirus-related issues.
Paula Russo holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, a Master’s in History and Middle East Studies from Harvard’s Center for Middle East Studies, and an undergraduate degree from Princeton University. For the past fourteen years, she has been teaching Constitutional Law, Middle Eastern History, and Interdisciplinary Humanities at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. Past positions include Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at the University of Baltimore School of Law and Middle East North Africa Coordinator at Catholic Relief Services in Cairo, Egypt. She received support from the Foreign Language Area Studies fund at the State Department and the Social Science Research Council for graduate studies and dissertation research. Ms. Russo’s particular academic interests include the First Amendment, medieval and modern Egypt, and new pedagogy.
Sharon Yamen holds a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law and is accredited by the U.S. Veteran’s Administration, assisting veterans in receiving their benefits. She holds her own practice assisting small businesses and start-ups. With ten years of teaching experience, she recently joined the Division of Justice and Law Administration, Ancell School of Business, Western Connecticut State University. She has taught at the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University and the Zicklin School of Business, City University of New York. Sharon's research interests are varied and have led to articles on topics including the “American Rule,” discrepancies in the law in regards to customs and borders protection, landlord/tenant law, and equity crowdfunding as a bubble that will burst.
Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.