Political Science | American Constitutional Law II
Y305 | 3364 | Hettinger
Purpose: The Supreme Court of the United States can make important national
policy through its interpretation of the United States Constitution. This
course examines the Supreme Court's policies concerning civil rights and
civil liberties. By reading the opinions issued by the Court, we will focus
on the legal analyses upon which the Supreme Court relies when it makes
these decisions. Our analysis, however, will not end there. We will also
discuss the political and social factors that shape the circumstances of the
case, the policy outcome of the Supreme Court decision, and the impact of
the decision. By the end of the semester, you will be able to read and
analyze the arguments and reasoning used in a Supreme Court opinion. You
will also gain an understanding of how political and historical factors, the
membership of the Supreme Court, and trends in constitutional development
influenced the outcome of the decision.
Text: Readings for the course are contained in Lee Epstein and Thomas G.
Walker, Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Rights, Liberties and
Justice, Third Edition.
Your final grade will be based on a total of 200 points:
Attendance/In class activities 30 points
Exam 1 30 points
Exam 2 40 points
Exam 3 50 points
Opinion briefs 50 points