2020-2021 University Catalog 
    Jul 03, 2022  
2020-2021 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

POSC 346 - Beneath the Black Robes: Courts as Political Institutions

Focuses on the causal dynamics of judicial behavior. Introduces students to the study of courts as political institutions and, in doing so, provides some understanding of the political nature of the role of courts in American society. Departs from the view that landmark national decisions such as Roe v. Wade, Baker v. Carr, and Brown v. Bd. of Education, along with their more recent conservative corollaries, are solely the product of adherence to constitutional standards of interpretation. Instead, it posits that these controversial rulings and judicial policy in general can be explained through careful examination of certain political factors. In short, the course is based on the premise that the judiciary is a permeable structure that is responsive to democratic processes and that, in turn, exerts influence upon those processes. Two major theoretical concerns integrate the lectures and materials covered: 1) the dynamic relationship between court decision-making processes and major features of the larger American political arena, and 2) the inherent tensions between judicial independence and democratic politics.

Credits: 1.00
Corequisite: None
Prerequisites: 100-level POSC course
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: None
Area of Inquiry: Social Relations,Inst.& Agents
Liberal Arts CORE: None

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