GOV 357L • The Politics of Law
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
This course is about the legal structures that control the way the democratic political process operates in the United States. Using primarily federal and state court cases, we will study the constitutional and legal aspects of political participation, voting, apportionment, campaign finance, voter fraud, and party organization. In our study, we will assess both the philosophical foundations for such legal control as well as the impact of it. Ultimately, what we study is thought to affect both the voting process and the outcome of that process. Nearly everything we study in this course emanates from either the 14th Amendment or Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act. This course is designed for government majors regardless of field of interest. Knowledge of this material is also essential for informed participation in the American political process. Students who intend to participate in politics at any level over the next few years will find it especially helpful. Representation districts from Congress down to county commissioners and school boards will be reapportioned and redrawn in 2011 af-ter the 2010 census. Everyone involved in electoral politics will in some way be affected or participate. This process will likely spawn a decade of litigation as it has done in the past.
GRADING CRITERIA 3 Hour Exams(one may be during final exam time) approx. 53% 2 papers 3-4 pages each approx. 32% Class participation, quizzes and attendance approx. 15%
The course textbook will be Election Law: Cases and Material by Lowenstein et. al.