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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University


SPEA-S 220: Honors - Law & Public Affairs
Professor Paul Helmke*
Section 10573 MW 4:00-5:15pm Briscoe C135

*** OPEN to Briscoe LLC students ONLY ***

Whatever your profession or position, you're going to have to deal with laws and lawyers and the threat of lawsuits. If you want changes in society, or want to resist those changes, or just want to be "left alone", you need some understanding of the system of laws applicable to where you live. The U. S. Constitution describes the basic framework for what government can and can not do in this country. This course will focus on the "rule of law" and how courts, legislative bodies, executive departments and the public have interacted and intersected to pass, change, interpret, and/or discard certain laws, particularly those impacting the political and civil rights of individuals referenced in the "Bill of Rights" and other Constitutional Amendments. I'll draw on my experiences from 21 years of legal practice, 12 years as mayor, and 5 years as head of a national advocacy group to supplement the textbooks, cases, readings, materials, and participatory activities to help the class reach a better understanding of the role law plays in our society and decide which, if any, of the quotes above are still applicable today.

Course Goals: By the end of this course, students should be able to analyze controversial public issues and conflicting claims of "rights" by being able to cite key Constitutional provisions and court cases, summarize the relevant legal theories and decisions involved with past public issues, apply those theories and decisions to current controversies, and discuss the likelihood of success for current claims being advanced.

Honors: The honors version of this course requires consent of SPEA Honors advisor. Course covers same content as SPEA-V 220; however, students will complete some advanced coursework.

Note: This section of S220 is generally only open to current (or sometimes past) students in the Civic Leaders Living-Learning Center.

Section 4371
Section 4371