Course Syllabus

The Federal Judiciary: Idea to Institution examines the role of "the judiciary" as one of the three branches of the government. Article III of the Constitution outlines the federal judiciary in very broad terms, leaving it to Congress to create by law a working judicial structure and determine most of the federal courts' jurisdiction (or power to decide cases). This course focuses on the creation of the judicial branch and its constitutional ties to the other branches, the evolution of the Supreme Court as an institution, the debates over the methods of interpreting the Constitution, and contemporary issues involving the role of federal courts in the American political system.

This course is self-paced and takes approximately 12 hours to complete the entire course. Each module consists of readings, video, exercises, and participation in discussions.

  1. Introduction to the Federal Judiciary.
  2. Debates on the Judiciary During the Convention and Ratification.
  3. Trials and Tribulations: The First Decade of the Supreme Court.
  4. The Marshall Court and the Creation of Institutional Identity.
  5. The Taney Court, Civil War, and the Reconstruction Amendments.
  6. Checks and Balances on the Judicial Power of the Supreme Court.

A more detailed syllabus can be found in the section, Modules. A list of the individual assessments required to complete the course are listed below. 

While the course is self-paced you will need to complete it by December 31 of the year that you registered for the course. The first such deadline will be December 31, 2016.

Upon completion of all of the modules you will have the opportunity to completely a Course Review and then, claim a certificate of completion.


Course Summary:

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