PLS320 The Most Dangerous Branch Book Discussion

In the final chapters of The Most Dangerous Branch, Kaplan walks through the history of LGBTQ rights before the Supreme Court, ultimately suggesting “the country — even Scalia, and particularly him — could see Obergefell coming” (344). He also points to the public’s rapid growth of support for same-sex marriage by the time the Court decided Obergefell as a factor in the Court’s approach. Provide a brief (1-2 sentences per case) explanation of Bowers, Romer, Lawrence, Windsor, and Obergefell, focusing on (a) the issue at hand in the case and (b) the Court’s decision (2 paragraphs). Then, using the information provided in class and in other readings, discuss the public reception of the cases specifically and gay rights more generally (1 paragraph). Based on your understanding of Kaplan and other course materials (specifically, the lectures on public opinion), do you think public opinion played a role in the justices’ decision in the cases? Why or why not? (1-2 paragraphs).

2. Writing in the Federalist #78, Alexander Hamilton famously said that the judiciary “will always be the least dangerous branch to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be the least in a capacity to annoy or injure them.” This is nicely (and intentionally) contrasted by Kaplan’s central thesis in The Most Dangerous Branch. At the beginning of the semester, you reflected on which perspective you thought more convincing. Knowing all that you know about the Supreme Court now, we would like you to reflect on this question on. First, please summarize your position on this question from the beginning of the semester (1 paragraph). Then, use Kaplan as well as any of the material we covered this semester to provide your thoughts on whether the Court is the most or least dangerous branch of government (2 paragraphs). If you switched positions, what evidence influenced the change? If you did not, what evidence underscored your original position (1 paragraph)?

* I will provide where you get the Kaplan Chapters, please cite your sources) You can use outside source but prefer Kaplan.