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2017 Constitutional Scholars Institute: The Supreme Court

Constitutional Scholars 2017 logo art 2Join us for five knowledge-filled days this summer to examine the U.S. Supreme Court — its past, present, and future

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Educators and scholars enjoy a collegial, academic-like environment to discuss topics and course materials

When: July 23-28, 2017 • M-F 9am-5pm
Where: Classes held at the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia and the Annenberg Public Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania
Registration Deadline: April 15, 2017

Download your Scholarship Application Form. Scholarship Application Submissions Due by April 15, 2017.

Join educational colleagues from across the United States and constitutional scholars to explore the historical, legal, philosophical, and political evolution of the Supreme Court. The program consists of strong content sessions and activities as well as the skills and tools you need to apply the material in your classroom. Participants will receive a casebook on significant Supreme Court Cases discussed during the Institute.

Seminar topics will include:

  • The Supreme Court – The framers’ original vision for, and the evolving history of the highest federal court in the U.S.
  • Getting to Nine – How the balanced court of the last three decades has resolved and communicated cases
  • Solving the Constitutional and Legal Puzzles – How individual Supreme Court justices decide cases and how to read and understand their opinions
  • The Future of Judicial Independence – The effect of political controversies on the Supreme Court e.g. the battle over Robert Bork’s confirmation; the Clarence Thomas confirmation fight; Bush v. Gore; and the battle over filling the Scalia vacancy
  • The Adoption of Judicial Philosophies and Ideologies –The battle between the “Originalists” and the “Living Constitutionalists”
  • Beyond MAPP and Griswold – Examine the changing nature of physical and information sears and seizures and personal autonomy privacy
  • Beyond Roe v. Wade – The Future of the constitutional right of abortion
  • Beyond Hobby Lobby – Exploring the courts free exercise of religion and establishment of religion cases and concepts
  • Beyond Citizens’ United and Snyder v. Phelps – The Future of the Roberts court’s decisions in the first amendment free speech area
  • The Future of Affirmative action – Exploring the limits of Bakke and Brown v. Board of Education

Download the 2017 Information Sheet

Scholarships Available

CS_2016_1_webThanks to the generosity of private donors, The Rendell Center is pleased to offer a limited number of scholarships for this five-day workshop.

Scholarships cover:

  • Cost of accommodations;
  • Lunches and two dinners;
  • Reading materials and teaching resources; and
  • Documentation for recertification credits.

Please Note: Scholarship funds do not cover the cost of transportation to and from the Institute.

Download your Scholarship Application Form

Example of the Institute’s Daily Schedule

CSI_2016_P1400516-1_web 39:00: Scholar Presentation – The Framers’ Vision and Evolving History of the Supreme Court

10:15: Break

11:00: Scholar Presentation – The Adoption of Judicial Philosophies and Ideologies

1:00: Lunch

2:00: Applying course materials in the classroom

Akil Amar_CS_2016_Web3:15: Break

3:30: NCC Resources & Tour of the National Constitution Center

5:00: Free time

The program begins Sunday night with a dinner and orientation. It ends on Friday after lunch. Several evening programs are planned for participants to experience the sights and sounds of Philadelphia including dinner at City Tavern, a night tour of Independence Hall, Philly Cheese Steaks, and more!

Past Speakers have included:

  • Akhil Reed Amar, Yale University
  • Michael Gerhardt, UNC School of Law
  • Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Annenberg Public Policy Center
  • Edward G. Rendell, 45th Governor of Pennsylvania
  • Erwin Chemerinsky, University of California Irvine School of Law
  • Bruce Murphy, Lafayette University

What participants have said about past Institutes…

  • “Overall, this experience exceeded my expectations on every level. The quality of the lectures, presentations, materials, “field trips”/special events, and accommodations was outstanding. Getting to hear from so many scholars who have literally “written the book” on their field of expertise was gratifying. I anticipate being able to bring back a new series of approaches to the Constitution to help my students better understand its relevance and complexity”.
  • “This has been hands down one of the most educationally enriching experiences I have ever had. It has opened my eyes to making sure my students develop critical thinking skills”.
  • “This week was a stunning blend of context, pedagogy and experiential learning. Rare opportunities like Town hall tours, meeting judges, working in the courtroom, and hearing from scholars. Sparked genuine enthusiasm that cannot be fabricated, and is sure to be contagious”.
  • “I really appreciated being treated as a professional educator. The content was delivered at a high level and went beyond the basics we should all know by now.”
  • “I am renewed in my spirit about civics. I’ve begun to add to my classes already.”
  • “I learned so much. I really needed a refresher on constitutional law and rights, and I feel that I have a really good foundation to share these rights with my students.”
  • “The content knowledge I gained will be transferred to my future students along with my willingness to continue to learn and read about the topics we discussed. Also, many of the resources and lesson ideas will be incorporated.”

Learn more. Read the 2016 Constitutional Scholars Institute Report.

We look forward to having you join us this summer!

Download your Scholarship Application Form

Application Submission Deadline: April 15, 2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact the Rendell Center at 215-746-6336, or email Beth Specker, Executive Director at bspecker@rendellcenter.org.

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