Class Slides
News Sites

Syllabus (PDF)

American Politics - Pol S 215

This is the main course-page for Pol S 215: Introduction to American Politics taught by C. L. Ball.

Prior test answer ranges

I will have the 4th test range posted shortly.

Epsilon #2 essays are now due on 15 Dec. (during final's week).

Delta & Epsilon Essay Topics

Test 3 Grades Released

Go to the open-access WebCT site -- POLS215_6 -- to see your grade. A discussion of the odd grade distribution is here.

Beta & Gamma #2 Essay Topics

Alpha #2 Essay Topics

Epsilon Essay Topics

Delta Essay Topics

Test 2 Grades Released

Go to the open-access WebCT site -- POLS215_6 -- to see your grade. The grade distribution is here.

Gamma due date

In the original email to Gamma group members, I wrote that the first essay was due on 6 Oct. It seems that I incorrectly listed it as 13 Oct. in the email and webposting here. It remains 13 Oct. Disregard my comments in class today.

 Gamma Essay Topics

Links to Pew Research Center graphics

I have given links to the first page of the report. At the bottom of the page are links to other pages. You can also download the whole reports as PDFs. The main website for the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press is here.

Beyond Red vs. Blue: I have taken various slides from this report, mostly from this section.

Bush Failing in Social Security Push: Slides on social security come from this report.

Abortion, the Court and Public Opinion:  The data on question wording com from here.

New Supreme Court Nominee

President Bush has nominated his White House counsel, Harriet Miers, to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court. It has generated some controversy among conservative Republicans. See this BBC story. The late Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, was not a judge before serving as an associate justice either, and was also one of the people tasked with selecting a new associate when his superiors selected him.

Here is the transcript of The Persuaders. More information about the show is available here.

House Majority Leader DeLay Indicted

Georgia Voter ID Law


Alpha Group Essay Topics

Civil Liberties Cases
To learn more about the DCMA, you can read arguments by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Motion Picture Academy of America.

On the USAPATRIOTA, you can read arguments by the American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Department of Justice.

Test #1 Grades Released

Go to the open-access WebCT site -- POLS215_6 -- to see your grade. The grade distribution is here.

Essay Information

You will receive emails assigning you to groups. These are the due dates for the groups.

Alpha: 22 Sep. 27 Oct.
Beta: 29 Sep., 3 Nov.
Gamma: 6 Oct., 10 Nov.
Delta: 13 Oct., 17 Nov.
Epsilon: 20 Oct., 1 Dec.

Topics will be issued the week before the essay is due.

General guidelines to writing a good essay.

Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

You can find most of the Supreme Court cases referred to in lecture and in chap. 4 here

C-SPAN hosts video and audio of the Roberts nomination hearing.

Federalist Papers Readings for 6 & 8 Sep.

Can You Spell "Unfunded Mandate"?
The State of Connecticut has sued the Secretary of Education over unfunded mandates in the "No Child Left Behind Act". You can read a New York Times story here and read Connecticut's complaint here.

 Helpful Sites about US Federal Government

Ten Things I Hate About Tertiary Education
This is written for my 251 IR course, so some of the examples refer to items not in this course.