Welcome to the Forsyth Library Constitutional Law guide. This guide will introduce you to a variety of resources to enhance your class experience. On this guide, you'll find resources to help you locate case summaries, law review articles, and public policy information.
If you have any questions about the resources you find here, or need any assistance with research in this class, be sure to Ask a Librarian!
POLS 620 - Constitutional Law (Fall 2018)
Guidelines for Research Project
Points Possible: 100
Percentage of course grade: 25%
The coursework for POLS 620 – Constitutional Law includes a research project that examines a Supreme Court decision that affects a public policy issue. Some possible issues and suggested cases are criminal justice procedures (Miranda vs Arizona), education policy (Forest Grove School District vs T.A.), health care policy (Independent Business v. Sebelius), the environment (Michigan v. EPA), gun ownership (Heller v. D.C.), or election finance (Citizens United v FEC). You are not limited to these suggestions. Select a case/issue that you are passionate about!
Below are the deadlines and descriptions of the various assignments related to the research project:
Topic/Case: September 10, 2018, 11:59 p.m.
Points possible: 5
Identify and briefly summarize the selected case, describing the public policy at issue.
Outline: October 22, 2018, 11:59 p.m.
Points possible: 10
Outline the answers to the following questions, including several sources.
Final Paper: November 19, 2018, 11:59 p.m.
Points possible: 75
Final papers should be double-spaced, size 12 point font, and 1-inch margins. For undergraduate credit, the final paper should be 6-9 pages long. For graduate credit, the final paper should be 9-12 pages. Sources are to be properly cited, using either the APA (American Psychological Association) or MLA (Modern Language Association) style.
Class Presentation: December 3-7, 2018
Points possible: 10
You are required to make a presentation of your work to the class, and the possibilities may include a PowerPoint or video. Your presentation should be in a format that can be documented and uploaded to Blackboard. Be creative!
Analysis of the court decision should address the following questions:
Submitting Assignments through Blackboard:
All assignments should be submitted electronically as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Rich-Text Format (.rtf) file through the Blackboard assignment. Assignments will be run through SafeAssign as applicable. Work submitted on alternative word processing programs such as Microsoft Works or Word Perfect will be converted to Microsoft Word at the student’s risk of unintended changes.
Important Note: The same paper CANNOT be turned in for more than one class without the express permission of both instructors. Self-Plagiarism is still plagiarism!!! It is acceptable to build on material from a previous paper submitted to another class, but the earlier work must be properly cited.
Appellate Review—Examination of a lower court's decision by a higher court, which can affirm, reverse, modify, or vacate the decision.
Executive Branch—The branch of government charged with administering and carrying out the law.
Federalism—The legal relationship and distribution of power between the national and regional governments within a federal system of government.
Judicial Branch—The branch of government consisting of the courts, whose function is to ensure justice by interpreting, applying, and generally administering the laws.
Judicial Review—A court's power to review the actions of other branches or levels of government; especially the courts' power to invalidate legislative and executive actions as being unconstitutional.
Legislative Branch—The branch of government responsible for enacting laws.
Separation of Powers—The division of governmental authority into three branches of government — legislative, executive, and judicial — each with specified duties on which neither of the other branches can encroach; a constitutional doctrine of checks and balances designed to protect the people against tyranny.
Stare Decisis—The doctrine of precedent, under which a court must follow earlier judicial decisions when the same points arise again in litigation.
† All definitions come from Black’s Law Dictionary