General outline for quiz 1 - General outline, for quiz 1 1....

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General outline, for quiz 1 1. First assignment: a. What kinds of issues does the court deal with? Be able to provide some examples of important issues the court addressed in its last term. b. Be able to discuss a couple of the ways in which we change the law, including how we change the constitution’s meaning; and a couple of the ways in which the law changes us. c. Is the current court mostly liberal or mostly conservative? How did it get that way? d. Ontario v Quon . i. What is this case about? What did the court decide? ii. Why does Kennedy, in the majority opinion, urge caution? Why should it matter that technology and norms around technology are evolving, if what is at stake is the meaning of the constitution? e. Activism: i. Do the people discussing the current Supreme Court think it is an activist one or not? ii. What is activism? 1. How do the commentators seem to define it? 2. How might we want to define it? 3. We didn’t define it (yet) in class, but we noted that often we use it when we disagree with the court’s result. In Stone Sweet’s terms, we think the court is being activist when we don’t think that it is drawing its current rules from a reasonable understanding of what the law (i.e., the normative framework, in Stone Sweet’s terms) was already. We also noted that this may not be the best way to use the term. f. The two classic legal families in the Western world are the Civil Law and the Common Law countries; ours is the common law. The key (ideal) characteristic of each is that, in theory, the Common Law treats precedent as binding, while, in theory, the Civil Law does not. But most would agree that civil law courts find ways to follow precedent, while common law courts find ways to ignore it or change it. How does/should this affect our discussion of whether we want judges to “make” law in some sense? 2. Stone Sweet: creating and empowering courts: a. Understand Stone Sweet’s cycle:
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b. What are the three key elements of this theory? You should know what he means by dyad, triad and the normative structure. c. Why do we get courts, then? What leads to the demand for a neutral decision- maker? d. What is the consequence of triadic dispute resolution for the normative framework? e. He uses two examples, the Constitutional Council of the French 5 th Republic and dispute resolution under the GATT/WTO. Of the examples, you only need to know France, and all you need to know is the real-world counterpart of each of the key elements (who makes up the dyad, how that changes as they
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This note was uploaded on 01/31/2011 for the course GOVERNMENT 42760 taught by Professor Ghazal during the Spring '10 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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General outline for quiz 1 - General outline, for quiz 1 1....

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