Spring 2018 Course Schedule

Law and the American Political Process (LAW-680-001)
Bettina Poirier

Meets: 04:00 PM - 06:50 PM (Mo) - Yuma - Room Y404

Enrolled: 20 / Limit: 22

Administrator Access


Assessment: Take-home exam, essay questions


This three credit course examines some of the basic structures and processes of the American legal system, with a focus on the evolving tensions and interactions among the three branches of government and the outside influences affecting them, including the media (traditional and social), public opinion polling, advocacy groups, lobbyists, and think tanks. The class will explore the nexus between policy and the law, with a focus on the policies that result from this complex interaction. We will examine contemporary issues of great importance to the country and see how the effort to legislate in response to social and legal questions often results in unintended consequences that invite further legislation and reform. Recent campaigns and elections will be a significant component of this class.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported, by E.J.Dionne, Jr., Thomas E. Mann, and Norman J. Ornstein

Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections, by Richard L. Hasen, Yale, 2016

What Should Think Tanks Do? A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact, by Andrew Selee, Stanford University Press, 2013

Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload, by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, Bloomsbury, 2011

First Class Readings

Not available at this time.


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