POLSCI 688 - Selected Topics in Political Science
Section: 009 Judicial Politics
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Political Science (POLSCI)
Department: LSA Political Science
Credits:
3
Waitlist Capacity:
20
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing.
Repeatability:
May be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

How do courts operate as legal and political institutions and how do judges and other legal actors work within these institutions? Answers (or in some cases implicit assumptions about the answers) to these questions play a foundational role in a wide variety of scholarly research topics including: the evolution of the common law, the normative desirability of judicial review, normative and positive accounts of statutory interpretation, inter-branch relations, judicial selection and retention, criminal sentencing, and the functioning of appellate review.

To answer these questions, we will spend time examining the intellectual history of the modern study of judicial politics as well as recent empirical and theoretical work within the subfield of judicial politics. The readings will be largely composed of quantitative empirical work and/or formal theory. That said, we will also read some cases and law review articles to help provide some additional perspective and context.

Topics covered include:
  • the role of ideology vs. law in judicial decision making
  • measuring judicial ideology
  • case-space models and fact pattern analysis
  • the role of race and gender in judicial decision making
  • collegial, i.e. multimember, courts
  • opinion writing and intra-court bargaining
  • inter-branch relations, e.g. separation of powers models, models of court-agency relations, etc.
  • hierarchical judicial systems
  • modeling legal doctrine
  • the role of public opinion
  • systems of judicial selection and retention
  • the role of prosecutors in the criminal justice system

The course is organized as a seminar. Students should be prepared to take an active role in discussing the assigned readings for each week.

POLSCI 688 - Selected Topics in Political Science
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
21704
Open
12
 
-
W 2:00PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
P
23459
Open
9
 
-
W 4:00PM - 6:00PM
003 (SEM)
P
26962
Open
10
 
-
M 9:00AM - 12:00PM
004 (SEM)
P
23527
Open
14
 
-
W 1:00PM - 3:30PM
005 (SEM)
P
25788
Open
9
 
-
Tu 2:00PM - 5:00PM
006 (SEM)
P
26963
Open
5
 
-
Tu 12:00PM - 2:00PM
007 (SEM)
P
27853
Open
4
 
-
M 4:00PM - 6:00PM
009 (SEM)
P
34598
Open
5
 
-
W 1:00PM - 3:30PM
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