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Viewing: PS 309 : Equality and Justice in United States Law

Last approved: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 13:36:48 GMT

Last edit: Fri, 16 Sep 2016 18:48:22 GMT

Change Type
Major
PS (Political Science)
309
018076
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
No
Equality and Justice in United States Law
Equal&Just US Law
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Political Science (16PS)
Term Offering
Spring Only
Offered Alternate Years
Fall 2016
Previously taught as Special Topics?
No
 
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
3
16
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Lecture3.0
Course Attribute(s)
GEP (Gen Ed)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
No
 
 
Traciel Reid, PhD
Associate Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Lecture3535Non/a
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote

Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Yes
SIS Program CodeProgram TitleRequired or Elective?
16PSBABA Political Science Elective
16PSAMBA Political Science: American Politics Elective
16PSINTBA Political Science: International Politics Elective
16PSLJJ BA Political Science: Law and Justice, Justice Systems Elective
16PSLJLBA Political Science: Law and Justice, Law and Theory Elective
16PSPUBBA Political Science: Public Policy Elective
16PSBSBS Political Science Elective
16OSMPolitical Science Minor Elective
Equality and justice in American law; federal and state court interpretation of constitutional and statutory law. Topics include racial justice; prisoners' rights and just punishments; nontraditional families and reproductive technologies; gay rights; immigration law; criminal justice practices.

Formal GEP review and adding to CourseLeaf system.


No

Is this a GEP Course?
Yes
GEP Categories
Social Sciences
US Diversity
Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 
Examine how judges and justices interpret and apply federal statutes and the United States Constitution, how judicial decisions public policy and private conduct, and how external political and social force might influence judicial decision making.
 
 
Exam question: Students will be asked to compare, contrast and explain why judges sitting in different courts located in different regions of the country have applied federal laws differently in similar cases. For example, one essay question asks students to explain how and why federal appellate judges sitting on the 6th and 7th Circuits Courts of Appeals have applied Title VII of the Civil Rights Act differently in cases involving transgendered workers.
 
 
Critique how courts employ empirical/statistical analysis to identify and address structural inequalities in the public and private sectors.
 
 
Writing assignment: Students are given a case study in which one party claims that a seemingly non-discriminatory hiring policy disadvantages women. Students must draw upon relevant case law as well as the statistical methods used by courts to argue that the challenged policy is legitimate and defensible or that it is discriminatory and should be repealed.
 
 
Apply a positivist perspective to evaluate how state courts, lower federal courts and the United States Supreme Court have tried to achieve equality and justice by balancing conflicting interests within the US political community.
 
 
Paper prompt: Students are required to submit a research/essay paper that explores how specific policies and practices place minority groups demanding equality in conflict with diversity groups demanding liberty. For example, this paper topic requires students to explore the intersection of religious freedom, religious diversity and third party rights in the US. The topic deals with the impact and scope of conscience clauses in federal and state laws. Although conscience clauses are intended to respect the religious freedom of healthcare providers, they have also been criticized as obstructing third parties (primarily women) from having access to needed medical treatment. The issue becomes particularly acute when pharmacists, physicians and religiously affiliated hospitals block women from exercising their constitutional right to abortion or to have access to certain kinds of contraceptives. This paper topic highlights how the interactions of individuals from diverse groups with conflicting interests affect public policies designed to foster equality, diversity and individual autonomy in the US.
Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:
 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
&
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:
 
 

 
 

 
Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.
 
 

 
 

 
 
Describe how judicial interpretation of selected federal statutes and constitutionals provisions has attempted to provide just and equal treatment for all individuals in the American political system.

Draw upon their own perceptions of “justice” and “equality” to critique whether and to what extent did the framers of the US Constitution, the US Congress and the federal judiciary develop a society that is just and fair.

Demonstrate knowledge of the important role of the American judiciary in insuring equality for diverse groups and in addressing structural inequalities in the US.

Assess the extent to which structural inequalities (de jure and de facto discrimination) within the United States have been adequately addressed by judicial interpretation and application of constitutional provisions, federal law, and state statutes as well as the extent to which minority and diversity groups have effectively used US law to address discriminatory practices by private parties such as businesses, private schools and religious institutions.
 
 
Question on quiz: In 1938, the United States Supreme Court ruled that “discrete and insular minorities” deserved special judicial protection in this country because these groups experienced long-term debilitating discrimination that was based on an immutable characteristic that had become the basis for prejudice, harsh stereotypes and hostility. For the Court, these discrete and insular minorities were racial and ethnic minorities who were blocked from the political process and, therefore, needed the federal courts to protect them from a hostile majorities as well as to advance their interests. Should the United States Supreme Court expand the list of discrete and insular minorities to include women, gays, lesbians, transgendered person and persons with disabilities? In other words, do women, gays, lesbians, transgendered persons and persons with disabilities need special protection from the judiciary in the 21st century? Why or why not?
 
 

 
 

 
 
Examine how courts have tried to balance conflicting interests within the American political community to achieve equality and justice for many individuals and groups without unduly interfering with the liberties and security of other individuals and groups;

Evaluate how the United States uses federal statutory law and the United States Constitution to define and promote “equality” and “justice” in this society.

Describe how individuals from diverse groups participate and compete within the political (legislative) process as well as to initiate litigation within the court system to advance their perceptions of equality.

Demonstrate knowledge of how advances and setbacks in achieving equality in the US resulted from conflicts and interactions among diverse groups by referencing court cases that present claims for equality and challenges to discriminatory practices, based on the idea that courts and judges must balance the competing interests of members from different religious denominations, different ethnic/racial groups, different gender groups, persons with different of varying levels of disability/ability, and different sexual orientations.
 
 
Paper Topic (Question): Should healthcare providers have the right to refuse to medical treatment and to dispense prescriptions that offend or violate their religious, personal or moral views? If so, how do you balance healthcare providers’ right to conscience with patients’ right to treatment? This paper topic requires students to explore the intersection of religious freedom, religious diversity and third party rights in the US. The topic deals with the impact and scope of conscience clauses in federal and state laws. Although conscience clauses are intended to respect the religious freedom of healthcare providers, they have also been criticized as obstructing third parties (primarily women) from having access to needed medical treatment. The issue becomes particularly acute when pharmacists, physicians and religiously affiliated hospitals block women from exercising their constitutional right to abortion or to have access to certain kinds of contraceptives. This paper topic highlights how the interactions of individuals from diverse groups with conflicting interests affect public policies that affect equality, diversity and individual autonomy in the US.
Requisites and Scheduling
100
 
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.
 
No restrictions.
 
b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?
 
n/a
 
List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.
 
None.
 
List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)
 
None.
Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
 
Title and author of any required text or publications.
 
No required textbook.
 
Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.
 
no change
 
List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.
 
no change
Course is already a regular offering within the PS Department and will continue to be.

a) Students will learn how the United States uses federal statutory law and the United States Constitution to define and promote “equality” and “justice” in this society.


b) Students will learn how judicial interpretation of selected federal statutes and constitutional provisions has attempted to provide just and equal treatment for all individuals in the American political community.


c) Students will learn how courts have tried to balance conflicting interests within the American political community to achieve equality and justice for many individuals and groups without unduly interfering with the liberties and security of other individuals and groups.


d) Students will be able to draw upon their own perceptions of “justice” and “equality” to critique whether and to what extent did the framers of the United States Constitution, the United States Congress and the federal judiciary developed a society that is just and fair. 


Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

1. examine how judges and justices interpret and apply federal statutes and the United States Constitution, how judicial decisions public policy and private conduct, and how external political and social force might influence judicial decision making.;

2. critique how courts employ empirical/statistical analysis to identify and address structural inequalities in the public and private sectors;

3. apply a positivist perspective to evaluate how state courts, lower federal courts and the United States Supreme Court have tried to achieve equality and justice by balancing conflicting interests within the US political community. 


Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Other100no change
TopicTime Devoted to Each TopicActivity
see attached weekly topics

shgreene (Tue, 09 Feb 2016 20:34:21 GMT): Rollback: Rollback is fun.
shgreene (Tue, 16 Feb 2016 01:55:02 GMT): Rollback: Not seeing attached weekly topics on this one.
despain (Tue, 15 Mar 2016 14:54:49 GMT): Rollback: Adjust objectives/outcomes, etc.
shgreene (Tue, 15 Mar 2016 19:09:34 GMT): Rollback: Outcomes
despain (Tue, 05 Apr 2016 13:27:12 GMT): Rollback: Outcome changes
aeherget (Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:26:23 GMT): AECHH: Edit. Uploaded Syllabus provided by Hope Ziglar 8.26.2016 via email.
Key: 4590