The Houston Seminar

THE SUPREME COURT: Where It's Been and Where It's Going


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Americans traditionally think of the Supreme Court as a neutral, independent arbiter of our most important legal disputes.  But even before the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as her successor, that view has been shifting.  Today, the Court is increasingly seen as another front in the battle for partisan control of the federal government.

Is that perception fair?  Is this a new development?  Is it a problem worth a solution?  And if so, how can it be fixed?  In this session, we’ll try to put current battles over the Court and its legitimacy in a broader historical context, and look ahead to trends we might expect to see in the years to come.

Professor Stephen Vladeck, nationally recognized expert on the federal courts and constitutional law, will be our guide through these complexities.  He has argued multiple cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and the lower federal courts, and has been recognized for his legal casebooks in national security, his prolific popular writing, his podcasts and blogs, and his appearances as CNN’s Supreme Court analyst.  He currently holds the Charles Alan Wright Chair in Federal Courts at the University of Texas School of Law and is a Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law.  Professor Vladeck earned his B.A. summa cum laude from Amherst College and his J.D. from Yale University Law School.