Today’s Justice: The Historic Bases Offers Participants the Chance to
Hear Oral Arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court
Explore the development of the judicial system from the English Precedents to today, and see it at work in the highest court in the United States in Washington, D.C., February 26 - March 1, 2012.
Dr. John P. Kaminski brilliantly leads participants through the reasoning behind the decisions upon which the United States judicial system began, including how the English Government’s rule over the colonists in America created a volatile situation that ultimately led to the Declaration of Independence from English rule. While it’s easy to view history from the secure position of knowing the outcome, Professor Kaminski helps course participants discern the judiciary’s development from the uncertainty of that time. The unrest and reasoning of the colonists allow participants to see the developing revolution through a personal viewpoint as Professor Kaminski brings to life the struggle over declaring independence and the subsequent conflicts between the states themselves. The colonists saw themselves as citizens of their state, not citizens of the United States and during the American Revolution, the consequences of this viewpoint were felt. As the Constitution was debated, more state-related arguments arose. The interests of the different states were divergent, communication was often slow, and in many cases, the national government was far away. The problems associated with states’ rights and a central government are enumerated and explained. The Constitution and Bill of Rights discussion lead by Professor Kaminski develops the reasons why the Constitution was specific on some points and vague on others.
Hon. Phyllis W. Kotey (ret.) continues Today’s Justice: The Historic Bases with a discussion on the Right to Privacy, Judicial Ethics, and Slavery, Race and Gender Issues in the past and present. Participants will use case law to analyze privacy doctrines, including standing, the seizure of intermingled electronic files, and the use of search warrants after a grand jury subpoena is issued. Participants discuss the limits that the Model Code of Judicial Conduct places upon the judiciary, especially with regard to speech and conduct. Professor Kotey employs course materials to illustrate how widely held racist or sexist views affected leaders of legal reform and how the past discrimination still affects today’s judicial system.
Finally, Jonathan Bush examines the impact of religion as an issue since World War II. He explains the U.S. Supreme Court’s difficulty in balancing non-incorporation with free exercise of religion and examines the U.S. Supreme Court’s leading approaches for the Takings Clause. Participants examine the desire to limit federal congressional power and analyze the techniques used to limit federalism.
The NJC is fortunate to have outstanding faculty teaching its courses and this first course in the 2012 Seminar Series is no different.
Dr. John P. Kaminski is the founder and director for the Center for the Study of the American Constitution in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has worked on The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution since 1969, first as associate editor and, beginning in 1980, as director. Dr. Kaminski has edited, coedited, or written twenty-eight books as well as many articles on the Revolutionary era with special emphasis on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, slavery, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine. He sits on a number of editorial boards, referees manuscripts for scholarly journals and presses, and serves on panels for several federal government funding agencies. Dr. Kaminski joined the NJC faculty in 1997.
Hon. Phyllis W. Kotey retired as a judge and senior judge for the Alachua County Court bench in Gainesville, Florida, after serving on the bench since 1996. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic at Florida International University College of Law in Miami, Florida. She has developed Delinquency, Educational Advocacy and Dependency Clinics in which law students represent juveniles charged with criminal offenses; advocate for students facing suspension, expulsion or special education issues that may impact school performance and attendance and file private dependency petitions to assist children in obtaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS). She has lectured for many years at the national, state and local levels on criminal law, discovery, ethics, jury selection and trial practice. She is an alumna of The National Judicial College and joined the College’s faculty in 2001.
Professor Jonathan Bush is a lawyer and author, and is currently writing the biography of General Telford Taylor (1908-98), the constitutional lawyer and chief prosecutor at the Subsequent Nuremberg Proceedings (1946-49). Professor Bush also teaches Nuremberg and the law of war at Columbia Law School. His areas of concentration have been American and British legal history, and he has written numerous articles on such topics as the legal treatment of Jews, the origins of slavery in North America, and the law of war and war crimes. He has been a legal consultant in many law of war cases, including Padilla v. Rumsfeld and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. Professor Bush joined the NJC faculty in 1997.
Please click here to register for Today’s Justice: The Historic Bases or contact the registrar’s office at
800-255-8343 or email@example.com for more information.
We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C.