PLS / CJ 430 Civil Liberties

Summer 2 - 2018  /  Harned Hall Room TBD

Course Description & Objectives:
Investigation of the origins of the U.S. Constitution and its amendments.  Emphasis on studying and clarifying effects of U.S. Supreme Court decisions and how they relate to society. 

Tentative Syllabus:  Coming soon 

Book: American Government and Politics in the Information Age (Free On Line)

Required Resources:

SMU E-mail account: You must have an active SMU email account as I periodically send articles of interest, quizzes and exams via email.

Expectation of Students:  Student Expectation PP Overview

General reference materials: To be used throughout the course.
Research Guides, Databases and Search Engines*:
To be used to find primary authority (constitutions, statutes, regulations and caselaw) and some secondary authority (interpretations of primary authority)

Class policy: 

Statement to Students concerning Academic Dishonesty:

Acts of academic dishonesty, plagiarism and cheating are considered unethical actions and a violation of university’s academic policy (SMU Catalog). Sanctions and procedures are included in the SMU Academic Catalog.

Statement to Students with Disabilities:

Students wishing to request appropriate accommodations are responsible for initiating contact with the SMU Office of Disability Support Services located at 214 OM [phone 438-4580;]. The office will access the individual needs of each student, assist him or her in communicating those needs to faculty and staff and help the student obtain the materials, services, and the assistance necessary to successfully pursue their higher education.

University Mission and Academic Values 
University Mission: To know, to care, to serve – to educate
University Academic Values: Knowledge, Spirituality, Hospitality, Service, Creativity, Communication, Inquiry, Discovery, Holistic Education.

Course Grading Scale:

4 Exams @ 100/each


Case Presentations


Active attendance and participation


Total Points:


Grade determination method:

Quizzes (4+): 40% [may or may not be announced so keep up and do the problems at the end of each chapter]
Midterm: 25% - Final 25% - Active* attendance 10%

I expect students to come to class ready to engage: discuss the readings, participate in weekly forum discussions and raise current events of legal interest.

Class participation can and does make a difference!!

Syllabus will be
on Moodle - log in here