past event
Criminal Law and Justice

Teen Socrates Seminar – Winter 2016

The Supreme Court and Its Role in Government, and in Your Life

Moderated by Neal Katyal, Paul Saunders Professor at Georgetown University.

From healthcare and abortion to the death penalty and individual privacy, the Supreme Court looms in our lives in ways it hasn’t for much of American history. This seminar will explore what the role of the Court has been in our democracy, and what it should be.  We will start at the beginning, understanding what the role of the Court was at the founding of our country, and how its critical decision—perhaps the most important decision ever—to uphold the Bank of the United States in the McCulloch case, paved the way for the expansion of the Federal Government.  We will then discuss modern topics, including many of the Court’s most famous (and controversial) decisions.

Seminar Moderator: Neal Katyal, the Paul Saunders Professor at Georgetown University, focuses on Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, and Intellectual Property.  He has served as Acting Solicitor General of the United States, where he argued several major Supreme Court cases involving a variety of issues, such as his successful defense of the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, his victorious defense of former Attorney General John Ashcroft for alleged abuses in the war on terror, his unanimous victory against 8 states who sued the nation’s leading power plants for contributing to global warming, and a 5-3 victory in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, a case that challenged the policy of military trials at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station, Cuba.

Katyal previously served as National Security Adviser in the U.S. Justice Department, as Vice President Al Gore’s co-counsel in the Supreme Court election dispute of 2000, and represented the Deans of most major private law schools in the landmark University of Michigan affirmative-action case Grutter v. Bollinger (2003). Katyal is the recipient of the very highest award given to a civilian by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Edmund Randolph Award, which the Attorney General presented to him in 2011.

This three-day seminar convenes high school students (ages 15-17) from around the country on the Aspen Meadows campus of the Aspen Institute in Colorado, creating a forum in which students can gain insight into timely and important topics. Participants are moved to voice their own opinions, opening a lively dialogue in which diverse viewpoints are shared and valued.

Saturday, February 13
2:00-6:00pm – Seminar Session

Sunday, February 14
2:00-6:00pm – Seminar Session

Monday, February 15
9:00am-12:00pm – Seminar Session

Fee: $425, includes all sessions, readings, and light refreshments. Scholarships available.

The Teen Socrates Seminar is currently full. If you’re interested in joining the waitlist, please email


Event information
Sat Feb 13, 2016 - Mon Feb 15, 2016
1:00pm - 6:00pm GMT+0000
Aspen Meadows Resort
Paepcke Building
Aspen, CO 81611, United States