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conlawfl20080 - 1 POL 4501W: The Supreme Court and...

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1 POL 4501W: The Supreme Court and Constitutional Interpretation Anderson Hall 250 Tuesday/Thursday 8:15-9:30 Professor Timothy R. Johnson Office: Social Science 1433 Office Hours: Tues. and Thurs.: 1:00-2:00 p.m. and by appt. Email: trj@umn.edu Homepage: http://www.polisci.umn.edu/~tjohnson/ Phone: 625-2907 TA: Caitlin Dwyer Dwyer077@umn.edu Office: Social Science 1214 Office Hours by Appointment Grader: Adriano Udani I. COURSE DESCRIPTION This Course is designed to introduce students to constitutional law, with an emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of Articles I, II, and III. II. REQUIRED TEXT Epstein, Lee, and Thomas Walker. 2007. Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Institutional Powers and Constraints . 6 th Edition. Washington D.C.: CQ Press ( on the syllabus). III. GRADES Your final grade in the course will be based upon 2 exams, class participation, and 25 written briefs you will hand in throughout the course of the semester. Each will weigh in your final grade as follows: 30 percent (150 points) on the first exam, 30 percent (150 points) on the second exam, 10 percent for participation (50 points), and 30 percent (150 points) for the written briefs. The final grade will be based on a 90-80-70-60 scale out of 500 points total. IV. CLASS POLICIES Examinations . You are expected to take the exams on the dates listed. If you cannot take the exams on those dates, you must talk with me at least two weeks prior to the exam to make separate arrangements. This timeline is non-negotiable. Exceptions to the schedule will be made only in the most unusual of circumstances! You are responsible for keeping a copy of your exams. You are also responsible for keeping copies of the exams once they are handed back. Sometimes errors do happen, and a grade may not be recorded for you. If this happens you must be able to produce the GRADED exam to verify that it was completed.
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2 Attendance and Participation . You should attend class, period. We will be reading a large number of cases over this short term. However, you will be expected to come to class prepared to discuss these cases, and their implications. More specifically, the participation portion of your grade encompasses far more than merely showing up for class. For this class to be of significant benefit, you must come to class having thoroughly read and briefed the cases, and be ready to take part in discussions. I expect everyone to be able to discuss the cases in class . You may have a difficult time with some of the cases, but that is precisely why class participation is so important. We will use this time to work through the reasoning and importance of the cases and issues. Briefs. You will hand in 30 briefs throughout the semester. At the start of class I will simply say, “Turn in the brief for case X at the end of class.” 25 of these briefs are worth 1 point each, and will not be graded. You will simply earn the point by handing the brief in on time. You must hand in your brief by the end of class on the day the case is discussed, with
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This note was uploaded on 10/16/2009 for the course POL 4501W taught by Professor Johnson during the Spring '09 term at Minnesota.

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conlawfl20080 - 1 POL 4501W: The Supreme Court and...

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