POL6613 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
3 Credit Hours
This course is open to students on the college level in their freshman or sophomore year.
POL6613 - Constitutional Law (3 hrs.)
This course examines the history and creation of the United States Constitution and illustrates how the Constitution continues to affect America’s current legal procedures. Areas covered in this class include the structure and content of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, freedom of speech, and search and seizure.
This course examines the history and creation of the United States Constitution and illustrates how the Constitution continues to affect America’s current legal procedures. Areas covered in this class include, the structure and content of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, freedom of speech, search and seizure laws, right to counsel, and laws of arrest. Emphasis will be given to how the Constitution currently affects our criminal justice system.
Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to.
1. Understand and discuss the historic context of the Constitution and what issues were faced prior to and with the creation of the Constitution.
2. Discuss each Amendment in the Bill of Rights and explain what effects each Amendment has on our current legal system.
3. Identify the three branches of government established by the constitution and explain the responsibilities of each branch.
4. Identify what constitutes free speech and what speech is not granted protection under the Constitution.
5. Explain what constitutes a lawful arrest.
6. Determine what situations require search warrants or arrest warrants.
7. Explain what situations do not require warrants for lawful searches and arrests.
8. Understand the right to counsel requirements and explain the rationale behind the right to counsel.
Units Outcomes and Criterion Based Evaluation Key for Core Content:
The following defines the minimum core content not including the final examination period. Instructors may add other content as time allows.
UNIT 1: History and Structure of the United States Constitution
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the students will be able to describe, identify, and explain the factors that were facing the framers of the Constitution, the rationale behind the Amendments and the effect these Amendments have on today’s system.
- Discuss the European problems faced by the common citizen
- Explain the early political problems that developed in Colonial America
- Describe the political actions that faced the framers of the Constitution
- Explain each of the Amendments in the Bill of Rights and describe their effect on our current criminal justice system. List the branches of government created by the Constitution and the responsibilities of each branch
- List criminal due process rights that citizens have received from court rulings
UNIT 2: Freedom of Speech, Press, and Assembly
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the students will be able to describe, identify, and explain what situations the First Amendment applies to and what its limitations are.
- Identify the different types of speech under case laws.
- Define what is obscenity under current U.S. Supreme Court Decisions
- Explain the limitations that case law has placed on private speech activities
- Recognize what constitutes lawful speech activities in public forums
- List what legal restrictions can be placed on free speech by governments
UNIT 3: Laws of Arrest
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the students will be able to describe, identify, and explain what determines if an arrest is lawful and constitutional.
- Discuss the historical development of the laws of arrest
- Identify the legal requirements for making arrests with a warrant and when they can legally be made without a warrant
- Compare and contrast the arrest powers of the police to that of a private citizen
- Explain the legal requirements of the use of force to affect an arrest
- Explain when an officer may enter into private spaces to make an arrest and when law enforcement officers can temporarily detain private citizens
UNIT 4: Search and Seizure Laws, the 4th Amendment
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the students will be able to describe, identify, and explain what constitutes a search under Constitutional parameters. The student will also be able to explain what determines if the search is lawful or unlawful.
- List the legal requirements for the issuance of search warrants
- Identify the types of warrantless searches that the courts have approved
- Recognize when the exclusionary rule would apply to law enforcement actions
- Differentiate between lawful and unlawful actions of law enforcement searches
- Apply search and seizure law to specific case facts to determine the legality of situations encountered in the criminal justice system
UNIT 5: The Right to Counsel
Outcomes: Upon completion of this unit, the students will be able to describe, identify, and explain a citizen’s right to counsel and the requirements that must be met by governmental authorities.
- Determine what constitutes an indigent person
- Determine when an indigent person has the right to appointed counsel
- Understand the right to assistance of counsel in non-trial proceedings
- Explain the requirements for conducting pretrial identification proceedings
- Discuss what the limitations are on law enforcement when the right to counsel has been requested
- Determine what constitutes an indigent person
The student will be responsible for all course material and reading. The student will be graded on written assignments, exams, quizzes, discussion questions, class participation, and other methods at the discretion of the instructor. Class projects will include unit exams, chapter quizzes, pop quizzes, daily assignments, and written projects pertaining to case laws and Amendments to the Constitution.
Contact Bookstore for current textbook.
Students should adhere to the attendance policy outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.
The grading policy will be outlined by the instructor in the course syllabus.
Maximum class size:
Based on classroom occupancy
The U.S. Department of Education, Higher Learning Commission and the Kansas Board of Regents define credit hour and have specific regulations that the college must follow when developing, teaching and assessing the educational aspects of the college. A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or an equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. The number of semester hours of credit allowed for each distance education or blended hybrid courses shall be assigned by the college based on the amount of time needed to achieve the same course outcomes in a purely face-to-face format.
Refer to the following policies:
402.00 Academic Code of Conduct
263.00 Student Appeal of Course Grades
403.00 Student Code of Conduct
Disability Services Program:
Cowley College, in recognition of state and federal laws, will accommodate a student with a documented disability. If a student has a disability, which may impact work in this class which requires accommodations, contact the Disability Services Coordinator.