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Constitutional Law & Powers (3352)



Constitutional Law - Powers

POLS 3352-001 and 3352-002

Class Time: 9 am/11am  MWF

Location:  Holden Hall 111


Instructor:  Eric A Booth                                               

Office Location:  HH  216

Office Phone: 2-2631

Office Hours:  MW 10-11am & M 1-2pm;  or by appointment.

Email: eric.a.booth@ttu.edu; eric.a.booth@gmail.com

Website:  http://www.eric-a-booth.com/


<course description>

The TTU catalog for this course reads: “3352: Constitutional Law-Powers (3:3:0). A case study of American constitutional law emphasizing constitutional bases of governmental power. Leading cases demonstrating the principles of separation of powers, judicial review, taxation, commerce, and implied powers.”

Therefore, this course focuses on research, analysis, and discussion of the American constitution as it pertains to institutional powers and behavior; as such, this course introduces students to a variety of concepts and theories associated with the study of constitutional powers.  Students will learn about the history of the constitution, its attendant laws and institutions, and how it has changed over time.  Finally, students will apply this information to the analysis and interpretation of current and salient court cases.

 Expected Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1)  Identify the factors which led our founding fathers to draft the constitution in 1787.

           Method of Assessment:  Midterm Exam

 2)  Identify the portions of the Constitution which still have a major impact on government/institutional powers (explicit and implied) and behavior—especially the impact of judicial review.

           Method of Assessment:  Midterm Exam

 3)  Explain the authority and limits of powers of the three separate branches of government.

            Method of Assessment: Midterm Exam

 4)  Examine the development and present state of the tension between federal power & states' rights, including an analysis of the impact of federalism on issues of commerce and taxation.

           Method of Assessment: Midterm Exam

  5)  Explain the First Amendment protections of freedom of speech, religion and press.

           Method of Assessment:  Midterm Exam

 6)  Explain the Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure.

           Method of Assessment:  Final Exam

 7)  Describe the right against self-incrimination provided by the Fifth Amendment.

           Method of Assessment:  Final Exam

 8)  Identify the rights ensuring a fair criminal trial as delineated in the Sixth Amendment.

           Method of Assessment:  Final Exam

 9)  Describe the constitutional protections of due process under the Fourteenth Amendment.

           Method of Assessment:  Final Exam

10) Recognize various life activities protected from government intrusion and interference by the constitutional right to privacy.

           Method of Assessment:  Final Exam

11) Apply constitutional provisions, standards and protections to current issues and cases.

           Method of Assessment:  Research Paper, Final Exam


Required Texts:

1) Epstein, Lee and Thomas G. Walker. Constitutional Law for a Changing America: A Short Course. 3rd Edition.  Washington D.C:  C.Q. Press.    ISBN:   1-56802-994-2

Course Website (includes optional/additional resources): http://clca.cqpress.com/short_topic_browse.htm

2) Additional articles and resources available from the course website, JSTOR, or distributed in class.

<class materials and lectures>