Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'll Take a Social Life for 600, Alex

As per usual, my morning consisted of walking up early, studying, skipping breakfast, and then finally heading off to class. While my daily routine may seem tedious to some, it's one that I've already grown accustomed to.

Like yesterday, the morning session was started off by a class discussion led by Luke. Today’s topic focused on morals, and how deeply they were interconnected with a justice’s decisions. During the discussion, Luke introduced to us two new topics. First were descriptive claims, which are “empirical” or practical interpretations that define what “is”.  Next were normative claims, which are interpretations directly influenced by present day social norms. Normative claims are considered to be what “ought” to be.

With these terms in mind, my class eventually reached an agreement. We reasoned that while judges attempt to make descriptive claims, there is always an application of morals whether they are a subconscious application or not. However, just because a judge’s ethics don’t agree with the case at hand, doesn’t mean that it affects their ability to properly do their job. A judge’s job isn’t to decide whether something is right or wrong—it’s to deem whether an act is to be considered constitutional or unconstitutional.

During the discussion, our class was briefly interrupted with a current news story—ObamaCare had been upheld! The health care plan had been passed on a 5-4 decision on the basis that it will be presented as a new state tax. The funny thing is that, initially, our class wasn’t of what the hearing actually was. The first two sources that we checked, FOX News and MSNBC, both got the original verdict wrong! After we celebrated the passing of the bill, we resumed the lesson by going over the cases from last night’s reading.

Since we had a quiz during the afternoon session, the review was much more in-depth than usual. Some of the cases we went over included Gibbons v. Ogden, US v. Nixon, and Clinton V. New York. The cases shared a common issue of the alleged infringement of the separation of powers between the court and Congress. 

Lunch was uneventful; I spent the first half hour eating lunch with the girls, sans Adrianne, as well as my new friends Joyce and Demi. I then spent the rest of lunch break studying for the quiz.

Today’s afternoon session consisted only of the quiz and another of Constitutional Jeopardy. I did fairly well on my quiz, I only missed two questions. As for Constitutional Jeopardy, my team and I didn’t do so well. By the end of the game, it was our 4,400 points to the winning team’s 8,200. Overall, we ended up ranking third out of five teams. The game’s questions were very challenging, and at one point, one of the teams had -600 points. While I think that it the game being so challenging made was what made it a great way to study, a part of me wishes that we played before the test.

When class was dismissed, my cohorts and I had our daily meeting with Mrs. L. During the meeting, we finalized our plans, talked about any concerns we may have. Afterwards, I ate lunch with the girls, and then returned to my dorm to start my homework.  

Today was nothing more than a normal day. Besides today’s test, there was nothing to really set it apart from any other day, which makes me concerned that I’m not taking advantage of all the opportunities I have.   Now I’m not only determined to participate in more mid-day activities, but some weekday RA trips as well! 

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