George I Lovell
POL S 462
Introductory public law course that examines the interplay of constitutional law and American politics with particular attention to the role of the Supreme Court in the formulation and implementation of public policy in such matters as criminal-law enforcement, civil rights political expression, and economic regulation. Prerequisite: either POL S 360 or POL S 361.
Description: This course focuses on the Supreme Court as a political institution in American government, and at the importance of the Constitution and constitutional law to American politics. Some of the questions considered in the course are: How does the Supreme Court interpret the Constitution? How did the Court become the authoritative interpreter of the Constitution for American society? Why do the unelected justices on the Supreme Court seem to make so much public policy in the United States? Why do actors in other branches (and ordinary citizens) allow the court to play such an important role in American politics? Can the Court protect the rights of minorities in the face of majority opposition?
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Assignments: will include a heavy reading load, participation in discussion, short papers, and both in class and take-home exams.