Spring 2004
Fully Enrolled

SOCS 628 (AMST)
Civil Liberties

Finn,John E.

01/26/2004 - 05/08/2004
Wednesday 06:30 PM - 09:00 PM

Public Affairs Center 136

Civil liberties are a uniquely American contribution (one that other western democracies have freely emulated) to the practice of politics: the written specification of individual liberties and rights that citizens possess against the state. Not a course on law, this is instead a course in political science that studies the relationship of law to some of the most fundamental questions of contemporary political life. Does the Constitution prohibit prayer in public schools? Under what conditions, if any, may a state impose limits on a woman's right to choose to terminate a pregnancy? May the state ban same-sex marriages? Does the Constitution protect hate speech? We will cover each of these topics and many more, including privacy, due process, equal protection, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion.

The major readings include Hamilton, et al., THE FEDERALIST PAPERS, and Kommers/Finn/Jacobson, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 2nd edition.

This is a seminar, with weekly discussions centered upon decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Course requirements include two short essays/papers on topics to be determined by the instructor, and a final examination.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus


John Finn (B.A. Nasson College; J.D. Georgetown University; M.A., Ph.D Princeton University; Grande Diplome, French Culinary Institute) is professor of government. He is coauthor, with Kommers and Jacobsohn, of American Constitutional Law: Essays, Cases and Comparative Notes (Rowman, 2004); co-author with Donald P. Kommers of American Constitutional Law: Essays, Cases, and Comparative Notes (West/Wadsworth 1998), and is author of Constitutions in Crisis: Political Violence and the Rule of Law (Oxford University Press, 1991). Click here for more information about John Finn.


ENROLLMENT INFORMATION

Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Alexander Hamilton , Rossiter ed., FEDERALIST PAPERS (NAL) Paperback

Donald Kommers, et. al., AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, ESSAYS, CASES, AND COMPARATIVE NOTES (Rowman and Littlefield) Paperback

OPTIONAL TEXT:

T.R. Van Geel, UNDERSTANDING SUPREME COURT OPINIONS (Addison-Wesley) Paperback

READING MATERIALS AVAILABLE AT BROAD STREET BOOKS, 45 BROAD STREET, MIDDLETOWN, 860-685-7323

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