PSC 313 Constitutional Law
The Supreme Court has accurately been described as a “Storm Center” of political controversy. This course examines the Court’s most potent power—to strike down as unconstitutional the actions of elected officials. We will focus on key Supreme Court decisions, including those dealing with abortion, affirmative action, gay marriage, the death penalty, the right to keep and bear arms, and the constitutionality of health care reform. What role should judges play in deciding such divisive and morally vexing issues? How should the Court apply such broadly worded constitutional guarantees as “equal protection” and “due process of law”? And what impact have the Court’s decisions had—on other branches of government and on American society in general? Counts as an advanced course in American politics. This course is offered in the fall semester 2011-2012.
Prerequisite: Political Science 111 or permission of the instructor.