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Judicial Process

POL 223W

Judicial Process

POL 223W

Course Description

Prerequisite: LEVEL 2 READING or LEVEL 2 WRITING or co-enrollment in ENG 98. Examines state and federal court systems, including the selection of judges, the roles of primary and secondary appellate courts in civil and criminal cases, lawyers and the organized bar, pressure groups, relations between state and federal courts, as well as the legislative and executive branches, access to courts, and judicial review. Emphasizes judicial policymaking, including constitutional law and civil liberties. (This course satisfies the American government requirement in all curricula.) (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Assess the role of courts within the American political system.

Objectives:

  • Compare and contrast state and federal courts with respect to the organization and structure of judicial institutions, the selection of judges, procedures used for civil and criminal cases, and judicial policy making.
  • Describe and assess how state and federal courts have resolved conflicts within and between the legislative and executive branches of government.
  • Describe and assess how state and federal courts have resolved conflicts within the American system of federalism.
  • Use the case method to evaluate how well state and federal courts have protected civil rights and civil liberties.
  • Form an overall assessment of the performance of state and federal courts within our democratic system of government.

Analyze how individuals and groups influence American courts and judges.

Objectives:

  • Describe and assess the influence of public opinion on American courts and judges.
  • Evaluate the ability of pressure groups and political parties to use the courts to achieve their goals.
  • Describe and assess the influence of the mass media on judges and courts.
  • Debate whether American courts are legal institutions or political institutions.

Access and evaluate information on American courts.

Objectives:

  • Assess the quality of these materials.
  • Use information in these materials to examine and test conclusions regarding American courts.
  • Develop and support a position on controversial judicial issues.

Write effectively for a specific audience and purpose.

Objectives:

  • Articulate important ideas.
  • Select, organize, and present details to support a main idea.
  • Demonstrate the ability to move between generalization and detail.
  • Write effective introductions and conclusions.
  • Employ conventions of written, edited, standard English (WESE).
  • Quote, paraphrase and summarize accurately.
  • Document sources in conventional style.
  • Use appropriate vocabulary for the audience and purpose.

Perform writing tasks to promote learning.

Objectives:

  • Document the attainment of skills.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the subject.

Use critical thinking skills to reason and evaluate.

Objectives:

  • Analyze and evaluate theories, positions, viewpoints and policies.
  • Generate and assess solutions to problems.