Political Science HW


In the News… Supreme Court Cases

Apr 18, 2014 at 12:10pm

8181 unread replies.8181 replies.


In both your textbook and supplemental materials you have learned about how cases make it to the Supreme Court. In this discussion you will have a chance to choose a recent case from the 2014-2015 Supreme Court term, summarize it, think more deeply about its possible impact on politics/your own life and discuss this impact with others. Not all of these cases have been decided yet, so you may also need to find out the status of the case.

Getting Started

Step 1: Choose Your Case

Choose a case that has either been decided or will be decided this term:

You can go to OYEZ.ORG 2014 Links to an external site.cases for a list of current cases. If you decide to research some of the cases that have gotten a lot of press recently, you are welcome to choose one of these to research:

  • City of Los Angeles v. Patel (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • King v. Burwell (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • Obergefell v. Hodges (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

  • Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Step 2: Research Your Case

Find out the following information about your case:

  • Has a decision been made in your case? If yes, what was that decision? How many Justices voted for/against the decision? (The page for the case you are researching on OYEZ.ORG (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. will have this information – at the bottom of the page you can also see who voted for/against this as well as sort by ideology).
  • What is the issue being discussed? Summarize the main points.
  • What are the two sides of argument? Summarize those.
  • Why do you think this issue this issue is important? What impact could this have? 
  • Do you think ideology impacted this case? If so, how?

Some places to go to research more about your issue:

  • Oyez.org (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.
  • SCOTUS Blog (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (the Supreme Court Blog – the search feature will pull up information about your case)
  • PCC Shatford Library Databases (Links to an external site.). Try Opposing Viewpoints in Context or National Newspapers Core.  If accessing off campus, you will need to enter your LancerPoint ID and password.

Step: 3 Create Your Summary + Thought Questions

Combine the information you have found and create a 300-400 word summary and analysis of this issue for your initial post in your own words based on your research. If you are having difficulty with your writing, you can get help from PCC’s online tutoring service (Links to an external site.). Please do so before your initial post due date! 


For your Initial Post due by Thursday 11:59 PM:

  1. Post your summary of your article and the websites you got your information from. Make certain to include a citation. For help with citations you can check out this PCC Citation pageCitations (Links to an external site.).
  2. Create 1 or 2thought questions about the article. These should be questions that help your classmates’ think more deeply about the topic and their own perspective. Such as: 
    1. If decision is made …. , what do you think would happen?
    2. How should the public respond to…?
    3. Why do you think…?
    4. How do you feel about…?

For your Response to at least 2 classmates due by Sunday, 11:59 PM:

  1. Ask for clarification (that is, ask questions) if needed.
  2. Respond to the thought question making certain to refer to the information in the article summary and to add your own perspective.
  3. Please note the discussion guidelines below. If there are topics you may have differing opinions on, it is still important to respect each others’ ideas and thoughts!

Discussion Guidelines

Read and respond to others’ posts as well, keeping in mind some basic rules for netiquette (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.:

  • Be kind and respectful to others
  • Use full sentences
  • Don’t use too much jargon
  • Treat others online as you wish to be treated
  • Use language that supports others


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