The Catholic University of America

Professor Malveaux explaining the intricacies of the federal court system to political science students from Villanova University.

A Tutorial in the Ways of Washington

Approximately 20 undergraduate political science students from Villanova University dropped by the Columbus School of Law for a couple of hours on May 18, 2009, as part of an annual three-week immersion in how the nation's political and judicial systems work.

The law school has become a regular stop for participants in Villanova's Washington "Minimester" Program, now in its 37th year. As she has in the past, Professor Suzette Malveaux offered the visitors a review of the most recently completed Supreme Court term. She discussed how Supreme Court cases are selected by the justices and how their decisions are ultimately rendered. The group also talked over what criteria should be used for selecting nominees to the high court.

After a rigorous debate, the class asked Malveaux who she thought might be nominated for the court vacancy created by the retirement of Justice David Souter. Weeks in advance of the official announcement from the Obama Administration, Malveaux proved prescient when she named Judge Sonia Sotomayor as a highly likely choice.

Along with Malveaux, Catholic University political science professor John K. White co-hosts the Villanova group each summer.