SMNR: Supreme Court Docket: Criminal Law & Procedure Cases

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
THU 4:15 - 6:05 pm TNH 3.127

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location


This is a one-semester three-unit seminar that will review the cases the SCOTUS has accepted for certiorari in the 2022-2023 Term, which of course begins in Oct. of 2022. We will focus on those cases concerning criminal law and procedure and related civil topics, such as immigration and civil rights actions. We will meet once a week for two hours. The only prerequisite is first-year criminal law. However, it would no doubt be helpful to have taken one of our criminal procedure or upper-level criminal law-related courses or seminars, or one of the criminal law clinics or internships. Each week, for the first hour, two of you will argue a pending SCOTUS case representing the government or plaintiff and two will argue representing the defense. The class and I will act as the Justices and question you, the attorneys, from the bench. For the second hour, we will dissect the arguments we heard, and perhaps attempt to predict what the Court will do. Two or three students will write a majority, dissenting, and perhaps a concurring opinion, which they will submit to me the following week. You will not be required to draft more than two opinions each. You will rewrite one of your opinions (your choice) after receiving feedback from your fellow students and from me. Your roles will constantly shift. You may not select which side of an argument you are on, but you can request particular cases. If you don't see a case you are following on my list, please ask! I will be flexible based upon student interest.

There is no casebook.  Please read the briefs of the parties posted posted on the SCOTUS blog for the assigned cases (or the cert. petition and opposition to cert., if that is all there is), and the opinion below. I will also post those on Canvas for your convenience. Reading the briefs of amici is not required. Please check Canvas every week for your written and oral assignments. I will try to get those sorted out and posted after the first week of class. There is no final exam. Your grade is based 50% on your oral arguments, questioning, and other class participation, and 50% on your written opinions. Obviously I cannot blind grade. However, this seminar is limited to 16 students, and therefore I will not grade on a curve.



Textbooks ( * denotes required )

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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
01/05/2023 Room(s) changed