Jan 15 2008

Course Syllabi

Published by at 11:06 pm under Writing Articles

This is a list of my course syllabi, posted mainly for my own recordkeeping.

Presidents and War

Cooper, By Order of the President

Fisher, Congressional Abdication on War and Spending

Goldsmith, The Terror Presidency

Kettl, System Under Stress

Lowi, The Personal President

Meuller, Overblown

Preston, The President and His Inner Circle




  1. 1/17: Lowi chapters 1-3

  2. 1/22: Lowi chapters 4-6

  3. 1/24: Lowi, chapter 7 AND “Recapturing the War Power” in the Harvard Law Review ( www.harvardlawreview.org/issues/119/april06/notes/war_power.pdf )

  4. 1/29: Fisher, Congressional Abdication on War and Spending, chapters 1-2

  5. 1/31: Fisher chapters 3-4

  6. 2/5: first essay due

    1. What is the plebiscitary presidency? Apply that concept to Bush’s public rhetoric, using the 2008 SOTU as well as any other examples of his public rhetoric you find useful. You can find his speeches at www.whitehouse.gov . A speech that I recommend for your consideration is his speech on the Iraqi threat given at Cincinnati on Oct. 7, 2002. Five pages max. Due Feb 5.

    2. Readings: Fisher, chapters 5-6

  7. 2/7: “Crafted Talk and the Loss of Democratic Responsiveness,” Chapter 2, Politicians Don’t Pander (to be distributed). Overblown, chapters 1-2 and Intro.

  8. 2/12: Mueller chapters 3-6

  9. 2/14: Mueller chapters 7-8

  10. 2/19: Cooper chapters 1-2

    1. Second essay due. Describe and assess the evident conflict between claims that the absence of any terrorist attacks since 9/11 proves the efficacy of government security policy and Mueller’s arguments that the probabilities of terror attacks are low at any given time and likely to be inflated by politicians. Five pages max. Due Feb. 19

  11. 2/21: Cooper chapters 3 and 5

  12. 2/26: Cooper chapters 6-7 and “Proclamation,” FDR (to be distributed). And the ABA’s “Report” from the “Task Force on Presidential Signing Statements” at www.abanet.org/op/signingstatements

  13. 2/28: Peri Arnold’s “One President, Two Presidencies” (to be distributed), Ex Parte Milligan and US v. Curtiss-Wright Export Co. (to be distributed)

  14. 3/11 Korematsu (all to be distributed), Youngstown v. Sawyer (to be distributed)

  15. 3/13: Hamden v. Rumsfeld (read the case’s syllabus, Stevens’ majority, Scalia’s dissent, and Thomas’s dissent at http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-184.zs.html

  16. 3/18: Goldsmith, chapters ??? (syllabus was blank)

  17. 3/20: Goldsmith, chapters ??? (syllabus was blank)

  18. 3/25: Goldsmith, chapters ??? (syllabus was blank)

    1. Third essay due. The president has issued a secret executive order giving federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies the power to indefinitely detail Americans and legal residents who are sympathetic with our enemies in the GWOT. You are a justice of the US Supreme Court and have heard the challenge to that program. Your assignment is to write an opinion to support the government’s policy AND to write an opinion that finds it unconstitutional. Draw your principles of law and precedents from the cases we have read in class. Five pages max. Due March 25.

  19. 3/27: “The Presidency and the Bureaucracy” (to be distributed)

  20. 4/1: Kettl chapters 1-4

  21. 4/3: NO CLASS

  22. 4/8: Kettl chapters 5-7

  23. 4/10: Preston intro and chapters 1-2

  24. 4/15: Preston chapters 3-4

  25. 4/17 Preston chapters 5-6

  26. 4/22 Preston chapters 7-8

  27. 4/24: Koh, “A National Security Constitution for a Post-hegemonic Age”. To be distributed.

  28. 4/29: No readings.

    1. Fourth essay due. Apply Preston’s model to GWB’s White House and decisionmaking. Five pages max. Due April 29.

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