611AB.02 Readings: Judicial Biography

A total of 112 individuals have served as Justices of the United States Supreme Court.  They have come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences.  Most were judges before becoming Justices, but others were law professors, attorneys in private practice, or even politicians with no prior judicial experience.  Once on the Court, many of the Justices have surprised and sometimes disappointed those who appointed and supported them. How has a Justice’s life story and prior experiences shaped and molded their judicial philosophy?

This one-credit readings class will focus on reading biographies of Supreme Court Justices.  During the course of the year, we will select and read six different biographies (three per semester).  This will include Becoming Justice Blackmun by Linda Greenhouse, and The Man Who Once Was Whizzer White:  A Portrait of Justice Byron R. White by Dennis Hutchison.  The class will determine what other Justice’s biographies to read during the course of the year.

For each book, the class will meet for a two-hour discussion session (at Professor Metzloff’s home).  Students will write a short reaction paper (2-3 pages) focusing on some aspect of the Justice’s life story.

Special Notes:

Judicial Biography

*Year-Long Course

Fall 2019

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Thomas B. Metzloff
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - Public Interest