Political Science | American Constitutional Law I
Y304 | 3554 | Hettinger

The Constitution grants powers to the three branches of the federal
government and the states.  We will examine the policies concerning
governmental power that the Supreme Court of the United States makes through
its interpretation of the Constitution.  How has the Supreme Court
interpreted the Constitutional language regarding these powers?  How have
the Supreme Court's interpretations shifted the balance of power between the
branches of government or between the federal government and the states?
We will discuss the facts and legal analyses upon which the Court relies
when it makes these decisions and the doctrines the Court establishes
through its opinions.  Our analysis will not end with the legal
understandings of Supreme Court decisions and decision-making.  We will also
examine the political and social factors surrounding the decisions. By the
end of the course you should be able to read and analyze a Supreme Court
opinion and understand the opinion in light of national politics, the
development of the Court, and the development of Constitutional politics.