Selecting cases

Mark Kende kendem at
Mon Mar 1 13:44:11 PST 2004

I have to do two presentations of about an hour each to some young 
legal academics, from a part of the former Soviet Union, who want to 
learn about some U.S. Supreme Court decisions that reflect American 
constitutional interpretation methods and principles.  These folks 
speak some English.  I'm struggling with which cases to select.  On 
the one hand, I'd like to pick out some cases in a single area where 
the law has evolved over time, and where the decisions generally 
contain explicit reasoning about the most important relevant
(regardless of result). On the other hand, I'm tempted to pick out 
some of the most significant or controversial cases from different 
areas. The problem there is that it would not be easy to fill these 
folks in on doctrinal background for several diverse areas in a short 

So I'd be interested to see what list members think would be a good 
group of several cases to use. I've thought of using cases on 
offensive speech such as Texas v. Johnson, Cohen, and some others but 
there are obviously many possibilities in other areas.  As you can 
probably tell, I'm leaning towards concentrating in one area but 
would welcome any input.  Off list replies are welcome so as not to 
clutter the list. Thanks.

Mark Kende
Visiting Professor
Notre Dame Law School

More information about the Conlawprof mailing list