This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Three Credits Jody Prescott, adjunct professor 802.399.8613, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org June 17 – July 11, 2012; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, 5:00-8:45 PM Rm. 534, Old Mill
Course Description: Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties examines what I believe is the most interesting part of the Constitution: the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments dealing with personal freedoms and rights. Using discussion and analysis of landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases in particular, this course will cover the freedom of expression and religion, criminal law protections, rights of privacy and equal protection, and the right to bear arms. This course is particularly suited to the non political science major who is interested in knowing more about how civil liberties are protected in our system of government, but who may not have a background in political science or law classes. Goals: Using lecture only to set the basis for discussion and analysis of the cases we study, my goal is for all students to contribute to the discussion of our essential constitutional rights, confident that everyone’s opinions and beliefs will be both respected and used as a springboard for gaining a deeper understanding of how constitutional questions are decided. If you are aware of a particular case that you believe is in our interest to discuss, but it is not in the readings, please bring it to my attention. Learning Outcomes: Above just awareness of the constitutional foundations of the rights we enjoy as U.S. citizens and residents, I intent for you after this class is that you be able to apply competing schools of constitutional thought and theory in analysis of cases, and how to critically isolate the relevant facts and issues for use in this analysis.
II. General Course Information
Course Policies: I expect students to come to class prepared to discuss the readings and cases listed in the outline below, and to participate regularly in class discussions on the assigned readings. The class will not work without this level of engagement on your part. Attendance Expectations: I expect regular attendance and thoughtful participation in class from each of you. I will take attendance at the beginning of each nightly session. Missing one evening of class is equivalent to missing almost four days in a regular semester course. Some absences are unavoidable, because emergencies always come up that you must handle. Because of the pace of the class, there really is no way to make up missed classes and the discussion that went on in them. If you must miss class, please notify me in advance. Contributions in Class: Constitutional civil liberties often feature in controversial political and social issues. In the classroom, they lend themselves to interesting discussion that often makes us view our beliefs and preconceptions from a different perspective, even if we don’t agree with
it. This is not a course geared solely to the delivery of lecture, nor is it a law school course. You must do the readings and analyze the cases before class to fuel the discussion in the classroom – students must engage and share their opinions, and respect the opinions of others even as they seek to explain why those opinions may have flawed premises or gaps in logic. Disagreement with other’s opinions can be expressed civilly, and discussions about sensitive topics can be conducted frankly but clinically. Academic Honesty & Professionalism: I expect you to do your own work on all assignments in this class. You may wish to form study groups, which are of course completely proper. Please see the official university policy at http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmppg/student/acadintegrity.pdf. You will write your answers to the exams in exam booklets. The use of computers to compose your answers to exam questions will not be allowed, unless you have a special requirement which you must apprise me of in advance. Required Readings: The course textbook is AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, VOL. II, Stephens & Scheb (2012). It may be purchased as an e-book, if you wish explore the CourseSmart site http://www.coursesmart.com/IR/2545002/9780205695379?__hdv=6.7. I am not endorsing this company’s site – it is just an option that might save you some money. There will be a few readings available through Blackboard, particularly very recent cases. Electronic Submissions/Internet Use: Students may of course take notes on their computers. The majority of the class time will be spent discussing the readings and in particular analyzing the cases. Thus, there will be no need for use of the Internet in class, although Internet sources may provide useful information to supplement and amplify students’ understanding of the readings. Student Evaluation & Assessment; Scoring Rubrics, and Percentage Contribution of Each Assignment: Because of the pace of the course, there will only be two graded events, a one and one-half hour midterm exam at the end of the second week of class, and a cumulative three-hour final exam given at the end of the course. Each exam will have a multiple choice portion worth 30 percent of the exam grade, and an essay section worth 70 percent. The midterm exam will be worth 30 percent of the class grade, and the final worth 60 percent. The multiple choice questions will assess your understanding of the readings. The essay portions will test your ability to quickly conduct concise and accurate constitutional analysis, learned through discussion in class. Exam make-ups are rarely given, and will be at my discretion and convenience. Grading: The grading of the multiple choice portions of the exams will be objective, there will only be one correct answer. The grading of the essay portions will focus on the quality of your writing, the clarity of your logic, and the accuracy of your analysis. Class participation will count for 10 percent of the class grade, and will be based on your contributions to class discussion. An “A” grade given on any assignment or as a final cumulative grade signifies “excellent” work (reserved for those students who have not only demonstrated an excellent understanding of the course material, but who have also shown an excellent ability to analyze the material); a “B” signifies “good” work (a “good” understanding of and ability to analyze the material); a “C” signifies “satisfactory” work (a “satisfactory” understanding of an ability to analyze the material); a “D” signifies “passing” work (a marginal but adequate understanding of and ability
to analyze the material); and an “F” signifies “failing” work (an inability to understand or analyze the material). My experience suggests that there is at least one of you whose work will be so markedly superior that it would deserve an “A+.” To assess this, each of the exams will include a question or two for extra credit that will test the true depth of your understanding of the material. Format for Expected Work: Answers to the multiple-choice questions will require the circling of the letter that sets out the proper choice. The essays should be in the Issue, Rule, Analysis and Conclusion format, which will be explained in class and used as the format for discussion and analysis of the cases. Classroom Protocol: The Department of Political Science requires that this classroom protocol, defining minimum standards of conduct, be included in all syllabi of political science classes: a. I expect you to attend and be prepared for ALL regularly scheduled classes. b. I expect you to arrive on time and stay in class until the class period ends. If you know in advance that you need to leave early, I expect you to tell me before the class period begins. c. We will all treat each other with respect. For example, unless necessary, do not disrupt class by leaving and reentering during class, do not distract us by making noise, and be attentive to what we are saying to each other in class. In addition to these minimum standards, if: a. You require accommodation for religious reasons, you must let me know well in advance. b. If you have a physical or learning disability, please provide me with the relevant paperwork from the ACCESS office by the end of the second class session so that we can discuss any relevant accommodations that need to be made. If you take exams in the ACCESS center, you are responsible for scheduling the exam time with the ACCESS office and you must contact me at least one week before either exam to discuss all necessary logistics. c. Other than the use of your computer to take notes, all other electronic devices must be turned off and stowed away for the duration of each class session. If there is a potential acute situation that requires you to be continuously available telephonically during class, please advise me beforehand.
III. Instructional Sequence: The daily reading agenda provided below is an approximate
schedule. The major requirements and assignments will be on the dates listed below. I will let you know at the end of class each night what the readings are for the next session, and if I forget, please remind me. If you miss a class, or are for some other reason unsure of what readings you should do for a particular class period, you should check for announcements on Blackboard or contact me. You will be able to access the syllabus at any time from Blackboard. I will supplement the text book readings with handouts. June 18 – Introduction, Judicial Philosophy & Levels of Scrutiny General Reading: 1-33 Cases: Texas v. Johnson, pp. 155-56, 192-96; Ex Parte Milligan, pp. 35-38.
June 19 – Freedom of Speech I General Reading: 139-42, 145-53 Cases: Near v. Minnesota, pp. 178-81; Schenck v. U.S., pp. 186-187; Brandenburg v. Ohio, pp. 187-89; Cohen v. California, pp. 189-92. June 20 – Freedom of Speech II General Reading: 157-69, 175-77 Cases: New York Times v. Sullivan, pp. 200-03; Miller v. California, pp. 203-05; Adderly v. Florida, pp. 214-17; Boy Scouts v. Dale, pp. 223-28. Handout for next class: Article on Roger Williams and an old Virginia statute June 25 – Freedom of Religion I General Reading: 228-37 Cases: West Virginia v. Barnette, pp. 254-57; Wisconsin v. Yoder, pp. 257-62; Employment Division v. Smith, pp. 262-65; Babalu v. Hialeah, pp. 265-269. June 26 – Freedom of Religion II General Reading: 237-53 Cases: Santa Fe v. Doe, pp. 277-281; Edwards v. Aguillard, pp. 281-285; McCreary County v. ACLU, pp. 291-95; Van Orden v. Perry, pp. 295-300. Handouts for next class: Kyllo v. U.S.; U.S. v. Jones June 27 – Mid-term Examination & Criminal Law Protections I First Hour and a half: Midterm General Reading: 310-22 Cases: Olmstead v. U.S., pp. 355-57; Katz v. U.S., pp. 357-60 Handouts for next class: Gideon v. Wainwright; Kennedy v. Louisiana July 2 – Criminal Law Protections II General Reading: 325-349 Cases: Mapp v. Ohio, pp. 362-66; Miranda v. Arizona, pp. 370-74; Gregg v. Georgia, pp. 395-97 Handouts for next class: U.S. v. Windsor (2d Circuit decision unless SCT rules on case by end of June) July 3 – Equal Protection General Reading: 481-514 Cases: Brown v. Board of Education, pp. 523-27; Grutter v. Bollinger, pp. 539-47; Loving v. Virginia, pp. 527-530; Romer v. Evans, pp. 559-565; U.S. v. Virginia, pp. 551-54. July 4 – No class
July 9 – Right to Privacy I General Reading: 406-22 Cases: Meyer v. Nebraska, pp. 433-4; Griswold v. Connecticut, pp. 435-41; Roe v. Wade, pp. 441-46; Planned Parenthood of Southern Pennsylvania v. Casey, pp. 446-54; Gonzales v. Carhart, pp. 460-63. Handout for next class: D.C. v. Heller July 10 – Right to Privacy II & Right to Bear Arms General Reading: 422-430 Cases: Lawrence v. Texas, pp. 467-475; Washington v. Glucksberg, pp. 475-481; McDonald v. Chicago, 70-71. July 11 –Final Exam 5:30-8:30 PM
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.