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Examine how key Supreme Court decisions—including Marbury v. Madison, Dred Scott, and Brown v. Board of Education—gradually secured the Court’s unique position in American politics.


Larry D. Kramer, President, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation


Today, few question the importance of the Supreme Court in American government and politics. But the Court did not always have such a central role. Specific decisions of the Court gradually changed its position. We will focus on critical moments in this evolution: the Jeffersonian ascension and Marbury v. Madison, slavery in the territories and Dred Scott, Progressivism and Lochner, segregation and Brown, the Warren Court’s criminal procedure cases, and abortion and Roe v. Wade. Our objective will be to get a feel for how the Court works, how it handles controversial issues, and how it has secured its unique position in American politics.

Travel & Accommodations

The Stanford campus is located in California between San Francisco and San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley. Its 8,180 acres reach from the rural foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the bustling Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.

Stanford is roughly equidistant from the San Jose and San Francisco airports. There are many shuttle companies providing transportation from both, and taxis serve the Stanford campus as well. You can also reach the University Avenue Station in Palo Alto via the Cal Train. To do this take the #65 bus from San Jose Airport to Santa Clara Station, or the SFO Cal Train Shuttle from San Francisco Airport to Millbrae.

Stanford University provides detailed driving instructions, as well as further advice on public transportation and the university’s own shuttle system, Marguerite.

Workshop participants will stay in on-campus dormitories. Participants will be provided with bedding and towels only and should plan to bring alarm clocks, hangers, irons, shampoo, hair dryers, kitchen utensils, etc. Every room is equipped with an Internet connection, but cables are not provided. Participants should plan to bring laptops as computer access on campus will be limited.


Meals will be served in a university cafeteria in space shared by other programs. All on-campus meals will be paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Travel Reimbursement

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar. Each seminar participant will receive reimbursement of travel expenses up to $400. Please read our complete travel reimbursement policy before applying.

Graduate Credit

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to announce its agreement with Adams State University to offer three hours of graduate credit to participating seminar teachers. For more information click here.

Course Reviews from Past Participants

“I had a great experience at the Supreme Court Teacher Seminar this summer. Larry Kramer provided an in-depth review of the history of the court and presented a new approach to judicial supremacy. As he told us at the beginning of the seminar, he was going to treat us like we were first-year constitutional law students and I found the challenge of being in that role very inspiring.”

“The seminar was valuable to me intellectually and because it provided me with new ideas and resources for my classroom teaching. I enjoyed the readings, and the lead scholar and guest lecturers engaged me. I already had interest in the content, but the presentations provided new ways of looking at the material. I like different spins. The suggestions for lessons were also helpful. And, I have become more familiar with the resources available from Gilder Lehrman."

“I was overwhelmed by the quality of this seminar. I felt challenged throughout my time at Stanford. The instruction and support provided were outstanding. Meeting Federal Judge Lucy Koh was a highlight. If there was any area of the survey that I didn't rank at the highest level it was related to a practice or I already was utilizing. The seminar was beyond outstanding.”


Email the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

July 30th, 2017 5:00 PM   through   August 5th, 2017 9:00 AM
Stanford University
Palo Alto, CA
United States

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2017 Teacher Seminar Registration Fee $75.00

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