Constitutional Minor Courses


Below is a brief list of most of the courses offered by the Center for Constitutional Studies. For more information, please contact Dr. Rick Griffin, the Coordinator for the Minor, or Dr. Andrew Bibby, Associate Director of CCS and contact person for the Constitutional Studies Scholarship.

The Minor in Constitutional Studies is institutionally distinct from the Center for Constitutional Studies, being run by UVU's Department of History and Political Science. However, several CCS staff teach courses in the Minor, and CCS continually encourages students to enroll in this unique program.

Rick Griffin, J.D., Ph.D., LL.M., J.S.D.

Constitutional Studies Minor Coordinator

CB 203k

(801) 863-5742

View the full list of requirements for the Constitutional Studies Minor in the UVU Course Catalog.

American Heritage

Studies the founding of American constitutional government. Considers the cultural, economic, legal, political, and social ramifications of the Constitution of the United States.

Introduction to Law and Politics

Examines the relationship between law and politics. Addresses the impact of politics on the judiciary and the strengths and weaknesses of law as a means of social order. Focuses on general issues of legal and political theory and the social and political functions of law.

Foundations of American Constitutionalism

Examines the political and constitutional foundations of American constitution-making, beginning with classical Greece and Rome, and ending with the United States Bill Rights of 1791. Employs a comparative analysis of early Anglo-American constitutional thought, with special attention given to the writings of prominent 17th and 18th century constitutional theorists (e.g. Coke, Bacon, Burke, Penn, Dickinson, Mason, Adams, Madison, and Marshall).

The Framing of the Constitution

Examines the political and constitutional arguments of the Framers of the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787. Discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the design of the Constitution and the alternative language and plans presented at the Convention. Examines the ratification of the Constitution, focusing on the Anti-Federalists' critique and the Federalists' defense of that historic document. Employs a critical analysis of the political factors that affected the drafting and ratifying of the Constitution.

U.S. Constitution

Examines the United States Constitution as the political blueprint of American national government. Explores the basic constitutional powers and structures of the federal government, and the prominent political and constitutional conflicts between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Addresses such key elements of constitutional design as limited and empowered government, enumerated and implied powers, separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism, and the Bill of Rights. Employs a critical analysis of modern constitutional politics.

Civil Rights and Liberties

Explores the origins of the fundamental liberties and rights of the U.S. Constitution. Examines the incorporation of the U.S. Bill of Rights to the states, the implementation of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteen Amendments, and the modern civil rights movements.

Comparative Constitutionalism

Examines, in a comparative fashion, the constitutions of the United States and other nations. Emphasized regions will vary depending on the expertise and interests of the instructor (e.g., in spring 2013, Ambassador Baktybek Abdrisaev addressed the constitutions of Post-Soviet Commonwealth Independent States). Employs a critical analysis of constitutional design and interpretation.

Constitutional History to Plessy 1896

Explores, in a critical and historical framework, U.S. constitutional history to Plessy (1896). Examines the origins and general principles of constitutional thought (Coke, Montesquieu, Sidney, etc.), and the colonial, confederate, and constitutional eras of early US history (including the Marshall Court's advancement of the doctrines of judicial review and national supremacy.) Concludes by examining the various constitutional issues relating to slavery, secession, civil war, and laissez-faire governmental policies.

Constitutional History Since Plessy 1896

Explores, in a critical and historical framework, U.S. constitutional history since Plessy (1896). Examines the development of U.S. constitutional thought from the late 19th century to the present Rehnquist Court, with special attention being given to the progressive era, the New Deal, liberal constitutionalism, and the Court's modern interpretations of civil rights and civil liberties.

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