Focus in Public Law
And any three of the following courses:
Other upper division POLS courses will be counted with the agreement of the department chair.
POLS 111 - INTRO TO US POLITICS
Introduction to the study, analysis and evaluation of U.S. political institutions, processes and policies. Subjects of the course include the structure of the federal government, constitutional rights and liberties, the functions of political parties, interest groups, communication media, and the process of democratic decision-making.
POLS 224 - COURTS, LAW & POLICY
Introduction to the study of law and legal process with an emphasis on the relationship between courts and public policy. Federal and state courts systems will be studied, as well as issues in criminal and civil law. Other subjects include the role of courts as political institutions, the selection of judges, the impact of court decisions on public policy, prosecutorial discretion in criminal cases, and the reliability of juries.
POLS 320 - TOPICS IN LAW
Examination of the relationship between law, considered broadly as a socializing force, and society. Topics will vary and may include the use of alternatives to courts for the resolution of disputes, challenges of legal authority, and the relationship between cultural pluralism and legal order.
POLS 320A - TOPIC: RACE & PUBLIC POLICY
POLS 320B - TOPICS IN LAW: SUPREME COURT
POLS 320C - TOPIC: LAW & LITERATURE
Topics in Law, POLS 320c, is a focused seminar in law and literature. In this course we will read a series of books and discuss them as a group. This is not a lecture course. Some of the texts are novels, some are plays, some are monographs, some are short stories, some are collections of theoretical essays. There is something here for every taste. Each of the books illustrates some aspect of the law that is worth understanding, whether that aspect concerns interpretation or a particular problem such as vengeance. We will also read a selected set of essays related to the book of the week from various law journals and these are available on-line via Lexis/Nexis. The point of this course is to give each student an understanding of the law as something beyond the cases and institutions studied in POLS 111, 224, 323 and 324. This is not a course in the nitty gritty practicalities of the law. Here I want you to begin to see some of the theoretical complexity as well as the majesty and diversity of law. For the future lawyers among you, this is an undergraduate version of a seminar you might see during your second or third year in law school. For those of you who have no intention of ever setting foot in a court room, let alone a law school, this should be a challenging course that will improve your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.
POLS 320D - TOPICS IN LAW: Sex, Drugs, Guns, and Money.
Voters in Washington and Colorado legalize marijuana. Minnesota votes down a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. There is a scramble to enact new gun laws in the wake of mass shootings. And money permeates politics. The common theme is *law*. Law is everywhere, solving some problems while creating others. Law is always present and always changing. This is an interdisciplinary course on the roles that law plays in structuring our daily lives. The course includes readings from Law, Sociology, Political Science, and even some readings on legal systems in other countries. We'll define the law in its many forms; discuss how law mediates relationships between people; discuss how law creates distinctions between people; and cover the myth of rights and the politics of rights, or how we potentially can or cannot use the law to advance social justice goals. If you are interested in the law generally -- maybe you're thinking about law school -- this course will provide an important foundation for how you think about and understand the law. The course includes a number of graded quizzes, a research project, and a final exam. Students will additionally be evaluated on their participation in group exercises and discussion.
POLS 323 - CONSTIT LAW: STRUC/POWER
Examination of constitutional interpretation and development in the United States with an emphasis on the role of the Supreme Court in the U.S. system of government. The course uses a combination of case, historical and political analysis to acquaint students with the power of the Supreme Court as an institution of government. Themes studied include the development of constitutional doctrines regarding the power relationship among the president, Congress, and the judiciary and between the federal and state governments.
POLS 324 - CONSTIT LAW:LIBERTY/RIGHTS
Examination of the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution with an emphasis on noteworthy Supreme Court cases from the past 50 years. Subjects studied include the guarantees of equal protection and due process, the right to privacy, the doctrines of free expression, and the separation of church and state.
POLS 332 - U.S. CONGRESS
Study of the legislative branch with emphasis on the concept of representation, internal organization, committees, party leaders and constituency influences on the Congressional process.
POLS 334 - U.S. BUREAUCRACY/REG LAW
Analysis of public policy organizations. Students examine values and processes that influence the regulations generated by the public sector at the national level, as well as the merit system of public service, and the web of connections among public bureaucracies at the state and national levels and institutions in other sectors.