Professor tells all about Supreme Court


Mason Thompson

Political science assistant professor Monica Lineberger lectures about the Supreme Court at the Fairhaven Senior Services American Profiles Series Monday, Feb. 15.

Mason Thompson, Journalist

In the Fellowship Hall of Fairhaven Senior Services political science assistant professor Monica Lineberger gave a “righteous” lecture for the American Profiles Series Monday, Feb. 15. Her talk covered the Supreme Court justices, including specifically John Marshall, Earl Warren and William Rehnquist. 

The lecture focused on the three, including how they differed from one another, as well as about them personally. Lineberger also dove into how much influence each had on the Supreme Court, making it what it is today. 

“So much of what they do is mysterious to us,” Lineberger said in her opening. “They come out behind these curtains, stay in front of us for about an hour, and then go back behind the curtain to continue their work.” 

Lineberger started by talking about Marshall, who was the fourth Supreme Court Chief Justice, as well as the longest, as he served in the role for 34 years.

 “He served as the Secretary of State and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at the same time for one month,” Lineberger stated of Marshall, describing how difficult it was to be one of the founding fathers of the Nation. 

Thomas Jefferson threatened the Court and even abolished it for one year due to the Marbury vs. Madison case. 

As the lecture goes on, Lineberger describes both Warren and Rehnquist’s effects on the Court. This includes backstory on the cases that each did, including the Brown vs. the Board of Education upon Warren’s arrival. She really dives into who the three Justices were, like how Warren was more of a results-driven person instead of law-driven. Her notes showed that Warren took the rest of the Justices to football games and paid for the expenses himself. 

At the end of the lecture, Leinberger answers questions asked by the crowd surrounding the Supreme Court and what is happening in today’s world, and issues that can be decided by the Court, the President, or many others in the office. 

Overall, if you’re looking to learn more about how the United States was shaped, how some of the decisions come to fruition, and what the Justices truly do, Lineberger’s lecture dives deep into these instances by giving numerous examples of the work the three did. The questions at the end of the lecture are asked by people who have thought out their questions, which Lineberger answers thoroughly, in a way that most of us who aren’t all that familiar with the process can understand. 

To watch a video of the lecture visit