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Constitutional Issues

POL 228W

Constitutional Issues

POL 228W

Course Description

Prerequisite: READING LEVEL 3; or WRITING LEVEL 3; or concurrent enrollment in WRT 098. Examines civil rights/civil liberties based on the Constitution and their interpretation by the U.S. Supreme Court. Assesses controversial issues, including freedom of expression, freedom of religion, abortion, euthanasia, affirmative action, and the rights of persons accused of crime. (This course satisfies the American Government/Foundational Civics graduation requirement in all curricula) (45-0)

Outcomes and Objectives

Employ the case method and other conceptual frameworks to study constitutional law using formal writing.

Objectives:

  • Analyze Supreme Court cases in terms of issues involved and their resolution by the Court.
  • Analyze the Court's opinions (Majority, Concurring, Dissenting).
  • Prepare case briefs which will include issues and opinions, as well as the case's historical background and litigation history.

Evaluate the Constitution in terms of its flexibility.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the Constitution's adaptation to contemporary, controversial issues such as those outlined in the course description above.
  • Describe and evaluate the role of the Supreme Court in the federal court system and state court systems.
  • Analyze the Supreme Court case of Marbury v. Madison (1803) and its significance with respect to the doctrine of Judicial Review.

Describe responsible citizenship based on an understanding of the basic form and structure of the Constitution and the individual rights it guarantees.

Objectives:

  • Describe the form and structure of the Constitution as the foundation of the American political system.
  • Outline the basic rights (civil rights/civil liberties) protected by the Constitution.
  • Describe the process by which constitutional issues are resolved by the Judiciary and the Supreme Court.