PS 467 - Lake Superior State University

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LAKE SUPERIOR STATE UNIVERSITY
PS 467: Constitutional Law and Civil Liberties
Office Hours:
Tuesday and Thursday 11:00am -- 2:00pm
And by appointment
e-mail: [email protected]
Dr. Richard T. Conboy
Spring 2004
Office: 215 Library
Tel.: 906-635-2339
Course Description:
The Constitution serves as the fundamental document of the United States government
and nation both in times of peace and war. Given its unique nature, the Constitution
provides the country with unchanging rights and values; it is also being constantly reinterpreted and adapted to meet the needs of changing times. An understanding of
the development of the Constitution and how it has been used to solve the enormous
range of policy issues that have faced this country is essential, if we are to understand
the operation of government in this country. The recent post 9/11 activity involving the
courts and the application of the Constitution to the issue of combating terrorism
demonstrates the importance of the role of the court.
The major objectives of this course include:
•
offering students a preview of how legal analysis is conducted using the case
method and briefing cases
•
considering, from a political science approach and as citizens, the broader policy
issues implicit in the cases we read and brief--issues such as the nature and
quality of judicial reasoning, the roles of and conflicts between the several
institutional power centers in our political system
•
providing an understanding of the essential institutions and procedures of the
federal judicial system
•
describing, analyzing, and evaluating the important, current political and legal
issues associated with the federal judiciary
•
providing opportunities for the students to apply the various jurisprudential
theories through research projects, in class writing assignments, role playing
exercises, and discussions
•
familiarizing the students with resource materials for conducting research in
political science
•
developing critical thinking techniques in analyzing political/legal issues
1
Textbook:
L. Epstein and T. Walker, Constitutional Law For a Changing America. Washington D.C.:
Congressional Quarterly Press, 2000.
Supplementary materials will be provided in class or available on reserve in the on the
web page.
Course Requirements
We will be covering a great deal of material in a relatively short period of time; it is
imperative that students read assignments before class discussions, have the written
briefs prepared when scheduled and be generally prepared to actively participate in
each class. Best results will be obtained if, after each session, class notes are
integrated into study/reading notes. There will be extensive opportunities for students
with questions to ask them in every class meeting, so do not hesitate to do so.
My evaluation of your mastery of the course materials will be based on the following:
Two examinations @ 100 points
Full case analysis
Fifteen briefs @ 10 points
Participation
Total
200
50
150
200
600
Letter grades will be determined using the following scale:
A
B
C
D
F
=
=
=
=
=
550
500
450
400
0
-
600
549
499
449
399
The two examinations consist of essay questions requiring you to analyze various
constitutional issues based on the cases and materials in the text, class discussions,
and lectures.
Mastery of the case law approach for studying Constitutional Law requires mastery of
the art of case briefing. Each student will be expected to submit 15 case briefs from
the cases in the text as listed in this syllabus and those cases available at the web
page. Briefs are due on the day that the cases are discussed in class. Each brief is
worth 10 points. Full credit is only available for those briefs received on the day the
case is presented in class. While fifteen briefs are required, additional briefs may be
2
written for extra credit. Use the briefing outline presented in the text.
Class sessions will be conducted using the discussion method, which requires student
participation in the analysis of cases and issues. This means that each student MUST
be prepared to analyze the cases/readings assigned for each class session, even those
for which you have not written a brief. Your class preparation notes will constitute an
excellent study guide for the tests and papers! While attendance is a necessary
prerequisite to participate, the points available for participation can be fully gained only
by active discussion of the cases based on an understanding of them in context. To
facilitate this, much of the course will be conducted as a seminar.
Each of you will select a case that the court has heard oral argument during either this
term or last term and has issued a decision. You will do an in-depth, full case analysis
of the decision and how it was reported in the media. The links available of the course
web page will assist you in this. Generally, these papers will be five pages long.
Schedule
Week
Chapter
Topic
1
2
1
2
Introduction to the Constitution
Understanding the Supreme Court
3, 4
3, 4, 5
5
6
Checks and Balances in the National Government
The Judiciary, Legislature, Executive
Federalism
6
7, 8
7
9, 10, 11
Commerce Powers and the Power to Tax
First Examination
Contract Clause, Substantive Due Process, Takings
Clause
Spring Break
8
9
12
13
First Amendment: Religion
First Amendment: Speech
10
11
14, 15
16
First Amendment: Press and Right to Privacy
Criminal Justice System: Investigations & Evidence
12
17
13
18
Criminal Justice System: Attorneys, Trials,
Punishments
Discrimination
14
15
19
Voting and Representation
Third Examination
3
4
Case Briefs
Please select the cases that you brief from the following list. Briefs are due on
the day that the cases are discussed in class. Each brief is worth 10 points. Full
credit is only available for those briefs received on the day the case is presented
in class. While fifteen briefs are required, additional briefs may be written for
extra credit.
Marbury v. Madison
U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton
McCulloch v. Maryland
INSv. Chadha
Clinton v. NYC
US v Nixon
Clinton v. Jones
McCulloch v. Maryland
Garcia v. San Antonio MTA
Printz v. US
Schechter Poultry Corp v. US
US v. Lopez
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. US
South Dakota v. Dole
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge
Lochner v. NY
West Coast Hotel v. Parrish
Penn Central Trans. Co. v. NYC
Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff
Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal
Council
Employment Div., DHR, Oregon v.
Smith
City of Boerne v. Flores
Lemon v. Kurtzman
Edwards v. Aguillard
WV Board of Ed v. Barnette
Near v. Minn
Branzburg v. Hayes
NY Times v. Sullivan
Reno v. ACLU
Griswold v. Conn
Bowers v. Hardwick
Cruzan v. Director, Dept of Health
Roe v. Wade
Mapp v. Ohio
Miranda v. Arizona
Gideon v. Wainwright
Gregg v. Georgia
Plessy v. Ferguson
Brown v. Bd of Ed
Craig v. Boren
Romer v. Evans
Regents of UC v. Bakke
Adarand Constructors v. Pena
Louisiana v. US
South Carolina v. Katzenbach
Reynolds v. Sims
Miller v. Johnson
Lee v. Weisman
Schenck v. US
Texas v. Johnson
5
6
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