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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2009

GOV 320N • American Constitutional Development II

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39135 MW
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
PAR 203
Sager, A

Course Description

This class is designed for students who want a more advanced understanding of the Supreme Court and approaches to constitutional interpretation and judicial decision making as well as students who intend to go to law school. It is also designed for students who want to expand and sharpen their verbal and analytical skills. The course will focus on the development of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in America through the reading of U.S. Supreme Court cases. Cases will be read and analyzed chronologically by Court, focusing primarily on the Warren, Burger and Rehnquist Courts. We will also develop profiles on how justices on those Courts approached the various is-sues. These profiles will come from our analysis of the cases, scholarly commentary on the cases and justices and the justices' own off the bench writings. We will spend some time on both the social and political context in which the cases arose as well as the theoretical basis of various civil rights and liberties. Students are expected to keep current with the reading assignments and come to class prepared to discuss the cases and related materials. As part of their daily preparation, students are expected to actually write case summaries called "briefs" and bring them to class. Occasionally, they may be asked to turn in a brief on a particular case. There will be 4 hour exams. This course has an extensive website. Students in the class should have web and e-mail ac-cess. The website is located at:

Grading Policy

Three Hour exams - Approx 65% Two short papers including a brief - Approx 22% Class Participation/Attendance - Approx. 13%


Lee Epstein and Thomas Walkers Constitutional Law For A Changing America, Rights, Liber-ties and Justice. Sixth Edition T.R. van Geel, Understanding Supreme Court Opinions. Sixth Edition


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