Pols 122, Judicial Politics
Office: Clark Hall, #453
Office phone, 924.5346
Office hours, 10:30 - noon, T/TH
4:45 – 5:45, TH and by appointment
As one of the core institutions courses, Judicial Politics examines the theories,
structures, procedures and politics of American Judiciary.
It explores many important
areas, including but not limited to the following: 1) the nature and role of law in a
democratic society, 2) the nature and functions of a Judicial system as part of a
democratic form of government, 3) how courts are created and structured, 4) how
judges, attorneys and other participants in the judicial system are selected, 5) how
criminal and civil court cases are conducted, 6) what influences affect judicial decision
making and finally, 7) the implementation and impact of judicial policy.
Inherently a vulgar subject but one with which we must all contend.
The primary source
of your evaluation will come from one midterm and one final examination; each worth
If you do not take the examination on its regularly scheduled day, you may
take a makeup examination at a time agreeable to both of us.
The makeup will be
structured significantly different from the regularly scheduled exam in both form and
difficulty so it would be in your best interest to take the regularly scheduled exam.
addition, you will be required to write a research paper approximately 10-12 pages in
length worth 50 points.
The paper is due no later than Tuesday, May 4
If you do not
hand in your finished paper by the due date, your paper will automatically receive a 10
The last moment to turn in any late work for any credit is the end of our
last regularly scheduled class on Thursday, May 13
You may also earn or lose points
based on your attendance.
The details are outlined in the attendance section below.
While not a tangible aspect to your final grade, thoughtful participation throughout the
semester will allow me to assess your mastery of the course’s student learning
objectives and therefore, make it easier for me to give you the benefit of the doubt on
your final grade, should it lie between two grades at the semester’s end.
Attendance will be recorded each day but you get 2 weeks (four class days) of paid
vacation (what a great deal!).
For each day of class you miss after four absences, you
will lose two points.
If you use less than four absences in the semester, you will receive
two extra points toward your final grade up to a total of eight extra points.
if you miss four days of class, you neither earn nor lose points.
If you miss five classes,
you lose two points, six classes, four points, etc.
If you miss only three classes, you