PSCI 2481







The purpose of this course is to introduce you to the American legal system. The political nature of many legal disputes will be explored as will the legal aspects of many political disputes. This course will also examine the potential (as well as actual) impact of citizen participation at all levels of the legal system. It has been said that we are what we eat. It's also true that we get the legal system that we create - for better or worse.


    Robert Carp, Ronald Stidham and Kenneth Manning (2007) Judicial Process in America. Washington, DC: CQ Press. 7th Edition

    Web-based readings - See Syllabus (check the syllabus regularly for updates and new supplemental materials)


Please read materials in advance of the class. Check with the instructor if the assignments are not clear.

Two examinations will be given - a midterm worth 25% of your grade and a final exam worth 30%. A term paper is also be required. It is worth 25% of your final grade. Additional assignments and participation are worth 20%.

Attendance counts. Both exams and the paper will stress materials covered in class. The only way to do well in this course is to attend class regularly. And here in Maymester realize that missing a day is equivalent to missing a week of school during the regular semester.

No makeup exams will be given unless I am notified IN ADVANCE and the reason you can not attend is valid. (That you've already purchased a plane ticket to go home or on vacation is not a valid excuse.)

There is NO excuse for late papers - a letter grade will be deducted for each day your paper is late.


    Midterm Exam - Monday, May 18th

    Paper - Friday, May 22nd

    Final Exam - Friday, May 29th (11:00AM-12:00Noon)


    Academic Honesty


      This university abides by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which stipulates that no student shall be denied the benefits of an education "solely by reason of a handicap." Disabilities covered by law include, but are not limited to, learning disabilities and hearing, sight, or mobility impairments.

      If you have a documented disability that may have some impact on your work in this class and for which you may require reasonable accommodations, please see me, after class or during my office hours, or Disabilities Services in Willard 322, (303) 492-8671 (V/TTY), so that such reasonable accommodations may be arranged. I encourage students to make these arrangements as early as possible during the semester.