Political Science
 

Constitutional Law - Rights and Immunities

Constitutional Law - Rights and Immunities
Students will learn about some of the most important parts of American politics, the US Supreme Court and its decisions as well as the historical development of the most important legal doctrines of the Supreme Court.
POLI
421
 Hours3.0 Credit, 3.0 Lecture, 0.0 Lab
 PrerequisitesNone
 TaughtFall Contact Department, Winter Contact Department, Spring Contact Department, Summer Contact Department
 ProgramsContaining POLI 421
Course Outcomes: 

Think Critically and Analytically about Politics

Students will discuss the moral issues surrounding the constitutional decisions about the death penalty, abortion, death (including a righ to die and assisted suicide), discrimination, privacy rights, the free exercise of religion, the establishment of religion, hate speech, and free speech rights.

Understand Political Science and its Subfields

Students will learn about some of hte most important parts of American politics, the US Supreme Court and its decisions as well as the historical development of the most important legal doctrines of the Supreme Court.

Understand Political Science and its Subfields

Students will learn both the detailed arguments of important US Supreme Court decisions and the context surrounding those decisions.

Employ Rigorous Research Methods

Through our daily analysis of Court decisions, we will practice textual analysis as it is done by legal professionals. In addition, the oral presentation, papers, and exams will also require a high level of competency at legal textual analysis, testing how well students have acquired this skill from the daily reading and discussion of cases.

Write and Speak with Originality and Clarity

Students will write two specialized types of legal research papers, a legal brief for a mock argument before the US Supreme Court and a mock decision from the same Court. Both papers will require significant legal research and argumentation that is expected in high quality legal research.

Write and Speak with Originality and Clarity

Each student will participate in two oral presentations in class, either as a party to a case brought before the Supreme Court or as a judge of the same Court questioning counsel in a mock Supreme Court case. These presentations will develop the skills of asking critical questions, formulating persuasive answers immediately, simplifying difficult topics, and arguing persuasively. These presentations will differ significantly from the typical oral presentation made in a class and will practice a different set of presentation skills than the typical classroom oral presentation.

Think Critically and Analytically about Politics

In our daily discussions, in mock trial presentations, and exams, and in writing briefs or court decisions, students will practice analyzing and evaluating the logic and arguments used in past Supreme Court decisions.

Write and Speak with Originality and Clarity

Students will be expected to adhere to the highest standards of intellectual honesty in writing both research papers and in their use of materials for their mock legal presentations. Students will also be introduced to the ABA citation style in addition to the Turabian citation style.

Collaborate Effectively

Students will become more informed voters and participants in political processes by learning the history of US Supreme Court decisions as well as the legal and political logic that underpins those same decisions.