GOV 312L • Issues and Policies in American Government
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Fulfills second half of legislative requirement for 6 hours of American government. Offered on the letter-grade basis only. May be taken for credit only once. The most basic function of a constitution is to arrange the structure of government by establishing governing institutions and enumerating their powers and limitations. In this course, we will trace how the structure of American government has changed under its constitution over time, both within the federal government and between the federal government and the states. Because the meaning of the Constitution is indeterminate, this structural change has not followed a predetermined path. In other words, the Constitution does not offer an explicit answer to every question of power and intent that might arise under it. We will study the constitutional contests between different actors claiming constitutional powers and responsibilities for their own institution in our history, and discuss how these contests were resolved and by whom.
Neal Devins and Louis Fisher. The Democratic Constitution. Oxford University Press. Terry L. Jordan. The U.S. Constitution & Fascinating Facts About It. Oak Hill.