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

Spring 2005

GOV 320N • American Constitutional Development II

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36265 MWF
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
PHR 2.110

Course Description

Primarily for pre-law students and government majors. GOV 320N is an upper-level course. American Constitutional Development II focuses on the development of civil rights and civil liberties in America, with 9/11 as an organizing theme for the semester. Key questions we will examine include: What institutions, processes, and forces develop the constitution’s civil liberties and civil rights provisions? What is the history of that development? What are the constitution’s civil liberties/civil rights provisions today? There is a heavy emphasis on historical events; we will then use that history to examine how 9/11 has affected constitutional thought and development in these past four years. Our primary sources of information will be U.S. Supreme Court cases and analyses of those cases, though we will use other materials as well. The format will be lectures, readings, discussion, short essays (online), and examinations. Student participation is encouraged and expected. This class is designed for both government majors 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, through developing a deeper understanding of the Supreme Court and approaches to constitutional interpretation and judicial decision making.

Grading Policy

The minimum required for the course is achieving an understanding of the materials covered in the lectures, discussions, and readings as reflected in the student’s scores on an essay exam, exams that include multiple choice questions and short answer/definition questions, and brief online essay contributions.


David M. O’Brien. Constitutional Law and Politics, Volume Two: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, 5th edition.


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