23 April 2010

Nine Old Men

With one of the nine current Supreme Court Justices announcing his retirement, the American press is once again interested in the Court. Good timing for us as we begin to learn about how the Court functions and impacts American society. The Christian Science Monitor has an excellent piece on the composition of the Court, which begins:
Like a starting lineup in baseball, the US Supreme Court has nine members. The number seems immutable, as if it’s always been that way. Didn’t they used to call the court “The Nine Old Men”? Isn’t nine justices a requirement written in the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights, or the Declaration of Independence?
read the rest of the article here.

19 April 2010

Still An Issue

Students in several of my courses will study the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. While forcing school districts to desegregate their schools via a court order seems like something from America's past, it turns out that such orders are still needed and handed down by courts in the United States. The law blog Jurist reports:
A judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi [official website] on Tuesday ordered [DOJ press release] a southern Mississippi school district to end its practice of allowing students to transfer from their assigned schools and classroom groupings, resulting in a segregated school system.
You can read more about this case here.