Public Law

Summer 2020 First Session
Evening and Weekend
Junior - Graduate
Class Size: 20
2 Credits per quarter
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"Courts ought not enter this political thicket." So said former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter on the topic of voting rights. But what if the court is the last line between minority rights and the tyranny of the majority? What if the court is the last branch left to police the reach of the executive? Should it do so? These questions will form the basic framework of this introductory, 2-credit summer elective. Law and policy are two sides of the same coin—you can't make one without the other.  Agency and non-profit administrators interface with the law every day, including litigation impacting program mission.  This course seeks to give MPA students a basic understanding of the role the judicial branch plays in the business of governing. We will study the roots of judicial power, as well as how agencies in the executive branch get the authority to do what they do--i.e., an introduction to constitutional law.  Overall, we will explore the civil (and occasionally criminal) justice system with the idea that a better understanding of our third branch of government makes us better citizens and better leaders.

Our work will be conducted remotely, using Canvas and Zoom. The faculty will offer alternative assignments if conditions or illness prevent students from accessing our synchronous meetings, which will allow students to earn comparable credit.


Summer 2020 Registration

15 seats for graduate

5 seats for undergraduate

Course Reference Numbers

GR First Session (2): 40050
Jr - Sr First Session (2): 40051

Academic details

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Evening and Weekend
Advertised Schedule

Jul 24-26 5-9p Fri, 9a-5p Sat/Sun

Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting