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Courts Lecture - Midterm 2.docx

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Boston University
Political Science
CAS PO 111
Graham Wilson

PO 111: COURTS 1 Lecture on supreme courts (Sheri’s Notes) Fundamental Question • is judicial power compatible with democracy? • no accountability, but have great power • stare decises o it’s already been decided • precedent does not always bind the supreme court • enough ambiguity to give judges freedom and an impact Limitation of Power of Courts • as liberal I have my preferences but president and congress elected, so I usually defer to their judgment whenever I can • constitutional justification getting in way of social reform o congress cannot delegate powers of legislating to an agency • don’t allow congress power to delegate then limiting ??? • socioeconomic legislation o not get in way of maximum work hours or the banning of child labor o does this mean that they are going to agree to everything that the congress does Not an antidote to controversy • civil liberties- Miranda- soft on crime o is there a degree to which this should be followed when danger is more imminent o warren court felt they were soft on crimes and criminals • sex- Griswold v. Connecticut, bakke and the “the right to privacy.” where does that right come from? o the way they get into sex is through saying that there is a right to privacy o nowhere in constitution does it say there is a right to privacy or protection from invasion into personal life o Griswold v. Connecticut  implicit right to privacy  bill of rights protects people against illegal searches and having troops quarter your house • saying that there is an area in your life that the government cannot step in  right of married couples to use contraceptives  test case • challenge the law to prove they should have right to privacy o hardwick case 1 PO 111: COURTS 2  states can still make sodomy a criminal offense  power in hands of state to ban o in Lawrence case  they changed their precedence  homosexual and heterosexuals are both granted right to privacy o roe v. wade  gave women the right to legally chose abortions  one of last examples of activist period in supreme court history  under some conditions and stages in pregnancy a woman has the own right to her body and should be granted the right to privacy • law steps in during the last trimester • race: what is the role of the courts in achieving racial justice? From Brown to bussing and its limitations. Can courts changeAmerica? o should supreme court be involved in protecting minorities o brown v board  seg
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