The course introduces students to the U.S. Supreme Court and its case law concerning Articles I, II, & III of the Constitution. Topics include judicial review, constitutional interpretation, and case selection, as well as major rulings on presidential power, the commerce clause, the taxing and spending clause, the Tenth Amendment, and voting rights. No prior knowledge of the Supreme Court, or prior experience with case law, is required.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
This course provides an introduction to the study of law and courts as political institutions and judges as political actors. Topics include judicial behavior and policymaking, the politics of Supreme Court nominations, the role of public opinion in shaping judicial doctrine, and the impact of courts on society. Because this is an American Pluralism course, a major objective of the course is to increase knowledge of how reform groups have used the courts to combat discrimination based on race, sex, and sexual orientation. The course also explores how the structure of the legal system systematically advantages some litigants more than others based on class. The primary institutional focus is the U.S. Supreme Court, but we also study other courts as well, including the state supreme courts and lower federal courts.
Thursday, July 09, 2015
The course is an intensive survey of the Supreme Court’s doctrine in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties. Topics include substantive due process, the equal protection clause, free speech, the establishment of religion and the free exercise thereof, and the rights of the accused. No prior knowledge of the Supreme Court is required.
Monday, August 04, 2008
What does it mean to live a religious life in a country that takes seriously the separation of church and state? What is the proper role of religion in public discourse? This course examines the status of religious expression in the law, examining such issues as school prayer, vouchers for religious education, and the teaching of intelligent design, as well as the role religion has played in the decisionmaking of the nation’s leaders.