Political Science 333

POSC 333
Judicial Process

1. Catalog Entry

POSC 333
Judicial Process

Credit hours (3)
Prerequisite: POSC 120

Composition, roles and powers of courts in American government. Emphasis on the role of courts in the political process.

2. Detailed Description of Course

This course will focus on the formal structure of American Courts, their operation, the internal and external influences, both formal and informal, on its operations, and issues that confront it. Overall emphasis is placed on understanding how the environment of the courts affects the judiciary and how the judicial system operates within the American political system.
    1) Foundations: Courts in a deliberative democracy
    2) Actors and Access
    3) Courts of original jurisdiction
        a. Civil
        b. Criminal
    4) Appellate processes and procedures
    5) Contemporary challenges

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Lecture and/or online delivery. Students will have several opportunities to learn about the American court system and the roles of various professionals within the system through a variety of pedagogical techniques.

4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

In order for the student to achieve a "working" knowledge of the American court system, its composition, the various roles, and the political influence of the judicial decision-making process, the following objectives have been identified. Thus the student, upon completion of the course, should be able to:
    1) Identify the purposes, premises, and objectives of this course;
    2) Explain the role of the judicial process within the American political system;
    3) Describe and evaluate the roles of the important actors in the judicial process;
    4) Describe and assess the formal and informal procedures associated with the American judicial process; and
    5) Describe and evaluate the problems facing the contemporary American judicial process.

5. Assessment Measures

Knowledge and understanding of the material covered in this course, as well as the ability to apply it to real life situations, may be measured using an array of assessment tools that can include tests, formal papers, informal writing assignments, and formal oral presentations.

6. Other Course Information


Review and Approval
August 2014
June 15, 2015