This course will consist of six
classes starting in the first week of October, just as the Supreme Court begins
its 2022-23 Term of oral arguments.
The Court's new majority--with its
three Trump appointments--has taken a radical turn to the right. This
turn encompasses much more than the reproductive and privacy rights cancelled
by the Dobbs decision. It is a turn that will very likely reverse much of
the twentieth century's constitutional law in civil rights and affirmative
action, in election law and voter protection, in environmental and health
regulation -- and much, much more. It is a constitutional
We will begin with a close (and
critical) examination of the claims of 'originalism' pioneered by Justice
Scalia and now embraced by Justices Thomas, Gorsuch and Barrett.
Successive classes will take up the
key cases of the last term at the Court, together with one or two in the
upcoming term. Thus, we will devote one class to the abortion decision, two to
the curtailment of the powers of the government in environmental and gun
regulation, and one to the two religion cases.
We will conclude with an
overview of the coming Term and its cases, focusing most closely on the new
majority's threats to affirmative action and election integrity.
Tom Gerety taught constitutional law
through most of his career. He retired as Collegiate Professor of law and
humanities at NYU. He headed up the Brennan Center for Justice and was
president of both Trinity and Amherst Colleges. He has law and philosophy
degrees from Yale.
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OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts 1350 West Street | Pittsfield, MA 01201 | 413.236.2190 | firstname.lastname@example.org