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Winter 2023 Course

The Role of the Article III Judge

Prerequisites: 1L Constitutional Law, Constitutional Law: Separation of Powers, Federalism, and Fourteenth Amendment, or Constitutional Law: First Amendment

Exam Type: No Exam

The contemporary debate over the proper role of a federal judge under the Constitution turns, in large measure, on what it is we think an Article III judge is doing when she is called upon to resolve a “case or controversy.” Is she looking for the fair result? If so, by whose lights? Is she a political actor, or is she instead looking for a rule of decision that has been previously established by law (a “mere translator” of the law, in Justice Frankfurter’s words). If so, by natural law or positive law? These are some of the questions we will consider in discussing what role a federal judge plays when she exercises “the judicial Power of the United States” conferred by Article III of the Constitution.

Note: This course will meet for the first two weeks of winter term.