Professor Brendon Swedlow Political Science (POLS) 412
firstname.lastname@example.org Constitutional Law III
Office: 418 Zulauf Hall DU 461 MW
Hours: MW 1-1:50 and NIU Fall 2008
This course covers major United States Supreme Court cases interpreting specific aspects of First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment limitations on state power over individuals. Cases in the first part of the course define how the police and other state agents must act when searching for and seizing suspected criminals and evidence of their suspected crimes. Cases in the second part of the course define the extent to which states may restrict freedom of speech in the interests of national security and public order.
Your grade in this course will be based on class
participation, two take-home midterms, and an in-class final. Class participation will determine a substantial
portion of your grade (40%) and is further described on the next page. The midterms and final will consist of
hypothetical fact-patterns that I will ask you to analyze in terms of the cases
we have been reading. Take-home midterm answers should be six pages in length,
double-spaced, with 12 point type. If you want, the first midterm answer can be
jointly authored with one other person from this class. The final is
open-course-pack, open-note. Most
readings are in a course-pack that can be purchased at the
September 22 Midterm #1 (15%) Take-home, can be jointly authored; six pages; due
following Monday, September 29th, at beginning of class
October 27 Midterm #2 (20%) Take-home; must be your own work; six pages; due
following Monday, November 3rd, at beginning of class
December 8 Final (25%) In-class; open course-pack, open note; but no sharing
of materials or discussion during exam; Monday, 4-5:50.
Please bring your own blue books.
Participation (40%) See following page for further explanation
Briefing Cases, the Socratic Method, and Class Participation
We will read and discuss many judicial opinions in this course. I will teach you how to read these cases so that you can extract their constitutionally relevant aspects. This specialized form of note-taking is called “briefing cases.”
In class, I will ask you questions about your readings, including the cases you have read. Your case briefs will be essential to answering these questions. This questioning approach to teaching is called the Socratic Method, the teaching style most commonly used in law schools.
Every day that we meet I will select several of you from the course enrollment roster to answer questions about the readings. If you are here and prepared to answer those questions, you will receive credit for participating in class discussion that day. If you are absent or unprepared, you will receive no credit that day.
Oral Argument and Class Participation
Periodically, I will ask you to act as lawyers, arguing constitutional cases before a judicial appellate panel composed of your fellow students. Lawyers will consist of teams of two to three students each. Judges will have the opportunity to question counsel before voting on the case. Lawyers will receive extra credit for participating in oral arguments; judicial questioning will contribute significantly to your participation grade.
Oral argument will consist of opening statements by lawyers for both sides, followed by closing arguments/rebuttals by co-counsel. Argument will focus on constitutional not factual or other legal issues in the cases.
You will be given advance notice of which cases we will be arguing in class, and who will be acting as lawyers and judges. This will allow counsel to prepare their arguments and judges to prepare their questions.
Counsel and judges will use majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions in our cases to re-create the arguments and questions that occurred during oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. Each attorney will have 3-5 minutes to make his or her argument.
Serving as a
Witness or Juror in
There may be an opportunity for you to serve as a witness or juror in mock trials that function as final exams for students of NIU law school’s courses in trial advocacy. The availability of this opportunity will depend on the needs of the law school faculty who teach these courses and on how many public law students wish to serve as witnesses or jurors.
I encourage all of you to serve as a witness or juror and will give you extra credit for serving and even for observing these mock trials – an opportunity that should be available to everyone.
Other Opportunities to Participate and/or to Receive Extra Credit
At various points during the semester, I may announce other opportunities to improve your class participation grade and/or to receive extra credit. These opportunities may include analyzing law related events on campus, in the community, country, or world.
I am open to your suggestions for additional opportunities to participate and/or to receive extra credit in the course.
Other Course Requirements
Please do not…
· ask for extensions on turning in your midterms. Midterms will be graded down one third of a grade per day that they are late.
· ask to take make-up exams or an incomplete in the course unless you have a very, very compelling reason to do so.
Definitely do not…
· engage in “academic misconduct,” defined by the NIU Student Judicial Code as the “receipt or transmission of unauthorized aid on assignments or examinations, plagiarism, unauthorized use of examination materials, or other forms of dishonesty in academic matters.”
Department of Political Science Announcements
The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Department’s spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages – one with the student’s name and one without the student’s name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following year’s competition even if the student has graduated.
Under Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable
accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with
disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they
may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability
Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the
Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu.
Jesse Choper, “The Current
Justices of the
David O’Brien, “The Selective Nationalization of Guarantees of the Bill of Rights,” Constitutional Law and Politics, 277-86.
Bill of Rights and 14th Amendment
Reading a Supreme Court Decision
James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling, “Broken Windows: The Police and Neighborhood Safety,” The Atlantic Monthly, March 1982, 29-38.
Samuel Walker, “Arrest Discretion, Generally,” Taming the System, 39-41.
Fred Inbow, et al, “Outline of Criminal Procedure,” Criminal Law and Its Administration, 5th ed., (The Foundation Press, 1990), 1-15.
Malcolm Feeley and Samuel Krislov, “Searches, Seizures, and the Warrant Requirement,” Constitutional Law, 2nd edition, (Scott, Foresman/Little, Brown, and Company, 1990), 555-69.
Akhil Reed Amar, The Constitution and Criminal Procedure (Yale University Press, 1997), 1, 3-13, 16-24, 31-35, 37-44; as excerpted in Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, David O’Brien, ed., (Lanahan Publishers, 1999), 137-58.
Payton v. N.Y. (1980) (homes)
WEEK 4 EXCEPTIONS TO THE WARRANT REQUIREMENT
Schneckloth v. Bustamente (1973) (consent exception)
“Entry of Building for Caretaking” (
NOTE: MIDTERM #1 HANDED OUT AT END OF CLASS ON
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27TH
Phillip Johnson, “Introductory Commentary,” Cases and Materials on Criminal Procedure, (West Publishing, 1988), 200-4. (Robinson, Sibron, Adams)
WEEK 6 MIDTERM #1 DUE AT BEGINNING OF CLASS ON
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th
“Illegal Searches Used in
David A. Harris, “The Use of Traffic Stops Against
African Americans: What Can Be Done?,” Congressional
Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference,
L. Pohlman, “The Exclusionary Rule:
Craig Bradley, The Failure of the Criminal Procedure Revolution (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993), 37-41, 45, 48-51.
WEEK 8 SURVEILLANCE AND PRIVACY
WEEK 9 SEARCHES IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE STATE
Camara v. Municipal Court (1967) (regulatory searches)
People v. Dilworth (1996) (school search)
Wyman v. James (1971) (welfare search)
WEEK 10 DRUG TESTING
NOTE: MIDTERM #2 HANDED OUT AT END OF CLASS ON
MONDAY, OCTOBER 27TH
Skinner v. Railway Labor Executives (1989) (drug testing)
Michigan Department of State v. Sitz (1990) (roadway checkpoints)
National Security and Political Dissent
Geoffrey Stone, et al, “Freedom of Expression,” Constitutional Law (Little, Brown, and Company, 1991), 1011-24.
Geoffrey Stone, et al, “Expression that Induces Unlawful Conduct,” Constitutional Law, 1025-26.
Geoffrey Stone, et al, “Overbreadth and Vagueness: Gooding v. Wilson,” Constitutional Law, 1121-30.
Geoffrey Stone, et al, “From Dennis to
NOTE: MIDTERM #2 DUE AT BEGINNING OF CLASS ON
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD
Masses Publishing v. Patten (1917) (“direct incitement to violence”)
Parker v. Levy (1974) (Army captain denounces Vietnam war)
Rust v. Sullivan (1991) (family planning clinic and free speech of doctors)
Public Order and Free Speech
INDIVIDUAL SPEAKERS AND HOSTILE AUDIENCES
Feiner v. N.Y. (1951) (white-bashing speaker)
Peter Irons and Stephanie Guitton, “Oral
Argument in Cox v.
Geoffrey Stone, et al, “The Public Forum: Streets and Parks” and “Regulating the Public Forum,” Constitutional Law, 1177-83.
Frisby v. Schultz (1989) (“focused picketing” in residential area)
International Society of
WEEK 14 City of Ladue v. Gilleo (1994) (residential signs)
NOTE: NO CLASS WEDS., NOVEMBER 26TH; THANKSGIVING BREAK
Geoffrey Stone, et al, “Fighting Words,” Constitutional Law, 1098-1100.
Peter Irons and Stephanie Guitton, “Oral
Ira Eisenberg, “Fighting Words: Race and Free Speech at the
Sarah Lubman, “Judicially Suspect: Campus
Speech Codes are Being Shot Down as Opponents Pipe Up,” The Wall Street Journal,
Marc Hardie, “Living Hell: The Price of Dissent,” The Defender, January 1995, 9.
H.L. Pohlman, “Hate Speech: R.A.V. v.
in Action, 212-37.
WEEK 16 FINALS