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"MAJORITY VERSUS MINORITY" is a free fourteen-week class offered as part of BPL's Library School series taught by Norman Finkelstein.

The decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court have had a fateful impact on the lives of all Americans. The purpose of this course is to analyze how the Court reasons its various opinions. Is the decision based on facts and logic, judgment, or prejudice? We will read the Main Opinion, the Separate Opinion(s), and the Dissenting Opinion(s) for each case. The class is organized thematically rather than chronologically:


I.             Segregation and Integration: A) Plessy v. Ferguson (1896); B) Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)

II.            Affirmative Action: Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1978)


III.           Abortion: Roe v. Wade (1973)

IV.          Same-Sex Sodomy: A) Bowers v. Hardwick (1986); B) Lawrence v. Texas (2003)

V.           Gay Marriage: Obergefell, et al. v. Ohio (2015)


Students are asked to attend each class. A syllabus and additional reading will be given during class meetings.


Norman Finkelstein received his doctorate in political theory in 1988 from the Princeton University Politics Department. He taught for two decades in the CUNY system, NYU and DePaul University (in Chicago). He has lectured on a broad range of subjects, and has written ten books that have been translated into more than 50 foreign editions. Finkelstein's main fields of research and teaching are political theory, international law, and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

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