Being the Supreme Court: Teaching Constitutional Law to Undergraduates as a Semester-Long Simulation


This paper surveys these various approaches to simulation in constitutional law courses, then introduces an immersive, semester-long approach. The structure of the course mimics that of the Supreme Court itself. As each new topic arises students gather in conference to select cases for oral arguments. The cases are argued by students with the class as the Court. This is followed by a conference in which students debate and take preliminary votes. Each topic area is bracketed by introductory and concluding class sessions. This cycle repeats for each topic throughout the term. The writing assignments are majority and dissenting opinions, with students navigating the various interpersonal dynamics of that process.



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