May 20, 2019  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    
2018-2019 Academic Catalog

PLSC 224: Constitutional Law and Politics


(1 Unit)
Explores the role of the U.S. Supreme Court in political struggles over the distribution and uses of power in the American constitutional system. Covers issues including the division of powers between state and national governments, and the branches of the federal government; economic powers of private actors and governmental regulators; the authority of governments to enforce or transform racial and gender hierarchies; and the powers of individuals to make basic choices, such as a woman’s power to have an abortion. Emphasizes how the tasks of justifying the Supreme Court’s own power, and constitutionalism more broadly understood, contribute to logically debatable, but politically powerful constitutional arguments. Also examines the politics of constitutional interpretation. Readings include Supreme Court decisions and background materials on their theoretical, historical and political context. Rose.