Pols_121b_Syllabus_Springx_2009

Pols_121b_Syllabus_Springx_2009 - Syllabus Professor Ken...

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Syllabus Professor Ken Nuger Office: Clark Hall, 453 Pols 121b Civil Liberties Phone: 924-5346 Spring, 2009, Email: [email protected] Clark 303 Office Hours: 8:15-8:45, 10:30-12, M and W, 12-1:15 M/W 5 - 6 M and by appointment Website: Website: http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty_and_staff/faculty_detail.jsp?id=2340 Political Science 121b: Civil Liberties This course introduces the student to the institutional, political and legal bases that determine how the U.S. political system and especially the U.S. Supreme Court resolve civil liberties and civil rights issues. This is a fascinating subject. We will explore many of the contours of the first amendment, including free speech and press, as well as the religious clauses. We shall examine the constitutional framework of the criminal justice system. This are includes the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth amendments. Finally, we’ll survey the evolving concept of substantive due process as it is applied to decisional privacy, including abortion, human euthanasia and sexual autonomy. While the workload is typically demanding of an upper division course, those who take their responsibilities seriously will find this course a rewarding, enlightening and fun experience. Therefore, I encourage you to pursue this course vigorously; for if you do, the rewards will be abundant. Required Readings Please purchase the following: Epstein, Lee and Walker, Thomas, Constitutional Law for a Changing America: Rights, Liberties and Justice, 6 th ed. Grading Inherently a vulgar subject but one with which we must all contend. You will have two examinations, one midterm and a final, each worth 100 points. You must also write a 5 to 7 page position paper/analysis on a subject relevant to civil liberties or civil rights. This paper will be due no later than Monday, May 4 th . The paper is worth 30 points. If the paper is turned in late, it will receive a 6 point penalty. Students will also occasionally turn in their legal briefs, which will be worth 10 points per brief. To have a chance to earn full credit, briefs must be typed, not handwritten. They must be turned in during class on the day a brief is asked for, not through email. This requirement will encourage all students to be present for class and not rely on email to turn in a brief. If you cannot attend class and you submit a brief via email prior to
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