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

Spring 2010

GOV 357M • Structure of Individual Liberties

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
38890 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
MEZ B0.306
Jacobsohn, G

Course Description

The focus of this course is on the ways in which the Constitution protects individual rights as it accommodates the often competing claims of groups, communities, and the state. While the emphasis is on the United States Supreme Court, the class will also look at how other constitutional polities address similar issues. We examine rights under the Constitution as they have evolved and been defined through judicial interpretation during periods of crisis and normalcy. Some of the topics to be considered include: equal protection under law, substantive and procedural due process, freedoms of speech and religion, and privacy. Under these rubrics are to be found such issues as affirmative action, capital punishment, hate speech, property rights, abortion, and gender discrimination. Much of the reading is of Supreme Court opinions that highlight the politics of constitutional development.

Grading Policy

Two short papers and a final exam (30%, 30%, 40%)

Texts

American Constitutional Law, V. II (Kommers, Finn, Jacobsohn), 2 additional books

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