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Lifelong Learning at Swarthmore

A Message from the Director

Greetings from Swarthmore,

I am very excited about the new LLS classes for the coming academic year in political science and US history. After an eventful term that made many believe the current Supreme Court is deciding cases based on political preferences rather than legal arguments, Carol Nackenoff, Richter Professor Emerita of Political Science and constitutional law expert, will teach the fall class entitled The Supremes 2022: No Longer the Least Dangerous Branch? I invite you to discuss with Carol some of the most controversial decisions of the last term and also upcoming important cases. You will find all the details about the class, including easy registration instructions, in this announcement.

Thank you for your support of LLS. I look forward to seeing you in class.

Professor Hansjakob Werlen
Director, Lifelong Learning at Swarthmore


The remarkable Supreme Court term that just ended saw not only Roe v. Wade but other important precedents overturned. This course will explore and seek to understand some big recent decisions (and some looming issues) in establishment and free exercise of religion, abortion, the right to bear arms, administrative agency rulemaking, immigration regulation, voting rights, free speech, and the stakes in the upcoming “independent state legislature” case. Alexander Hamilton famously described the Court as the “least dangerous branch,” but many recent Court scholars think it has increasingly entered the political fray, has polarized along partisan lines, and has been curbing the power and authority of other branches of government. 

Carol Nackenoff is Richter Professor Emerita of Political Science at Swarthmore. She taught constitutional law, environmental politics and policy, gender politics and policy, and American politics, and is teaching 
her honors seminar in constitutional law again this year. She is co-author, most recently, of American by Birth: Wong Kim Ark and the Battle for Citizenship; author of The Fictional Republic; co-editor of several books; and she has published a number of scholarly articles in law reviews and political science journals. Her Ph.D. in Political Science is from the University of Chicago.

​WHEN:  Mondays at 7 p.m. ET 
DATES:  September 12, 19, 26; October 3, 17 (please note that there is no class during the college fall break), 24, 31; November 7 (eight classes) 
PROGRAM NOTES:  The class will be held online using Zoom; participants will need to download Zoom to their computers to participate. A meeting link will be emailed to you several days prior to the first class. Classes are RECORDED for members.

Registration is now closed. Please contact Mary Carr with questions at 


More About Lifelong Learning 

  • Courses taught by senior or emeriti members of Swarthmore College faculty and other experts.

  • Courses offered in each of the divisions of the College: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences/engineering.

  • No grades, no academic credit, just learning for learning's sake.

  • Open to everyone: alumni, their adult family, friends, Swarthmore College staff, and all friends of the College are welcome.

  •  Virtual classes are not limited in number of participants.

Questions?  For questions about course material, contact Professor Hansjakob Werlen at For all other questions, contact Mary Carr at .

Thank you for your support of Lifelong Learning at Swarthmore.