Poli 436 347-f clb, 549-5429 Legislative Process

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POLI 436 347-F CLB, 549-5429

Legislative Process msaeki@selu.edu

Dr. Manabu Saeki Office Hrs: MWF 9-11a,and1-2p

Course Overview

This course examines the U.S. Congress and its legislative process. It is intended to provide an overview of the legislatorial policymaking and congressional behavior.

Required Rental Text

Keefe, William J. The American Legislative Process. 10th Ed.

Weisberg, Herbert F., et al. Classics in Congressional Politics.

Course Objectives

A. Detailed knowledge of the lawmaking process.

B. Understanding the institutional structure of Congress.

C. Understanding the behavior of various actors in legislative process and how they interact.

D. Ability to research and analyze theoretical validity in the field.

General Course Policies

Punctuality: Students are expected to arrive for class on time and to remain for the duration of the class period. Students arriving late or leaving early will be counted as absent.

Students are expected to follow the attendance policy as stated in the SLU Catalog:

. . . all students are expected to attend regularly and punctually all classes in which they are enrolled. Failure to do so may jeopardize a student’s scholastic standing and may lead to suspension from the college or university. . .

When a freshman or sophomore student receives unexcused absences (ten percent of the total classes) in any class, the instructor may recommend to the student’s academic dean that he be withdrawn from the rolls of that class and given an appropriate grade.

Students who exceed the allowed ten percent of absences will drop one letter grade for each additional ten percent of classes missed. Students will be allowed five absences out of the scheduled classes. Upon the sixth absence, the student’s grade will drop one letter. Upon the eleventh absence, the grade drops another letter. Even if a student has a “good excuse,” he or she has still exceeded the number of absences allowed in the SLU Catalog and will receive a corresponding grade.

Furthermore, students are responsible for obtaining any missed class notes from a classmate or the textbook. I give each lecture once, at the scheduled time, and do not repeat lectures in my office nor share my lecture notes. Any students who are not officially in the class cannot remain in the class and will not receive any credit for the course.

Exams and Grading:

2 multiple-choice exams 25% x 2

7-10 page essay regarding one of the topics I provide 25%

Assignments 25%


4 5-10 page essays regarding one of the topics I provide 25% x 3

Quantative research 25%


Arrive on time for the tests. Once the first student has completed a test and left the room, no late-comers will be allowed to take the test. Late-comers will have to take the cumulative make-up on the last day of class. No excuses.
Cheating will result in a grade of F for the entire course and will be additionally punished according to university procedures.
Do not call the departmental office to ask for your grades. The staff does not know your grades and would not be legally allowed to reveal them even if they did.

All course grades are final and will not be changed except in cases of calculation error.

Make-up Exams:

1. Make-up exams are not automatically granted.

2. Any excuses must be cleared in advance with the instructor and will require written (i.e: doctor's note for illness, police report for accident, etc.).

3. All approved make-up exams will take place on the last day of class for the semester.

4. Do not expect a make-up exam to be the same as the original exam. The format of the exam will be altered, eg: fill in the blank, essay, etc.

5. The make-up exam is cumulative. That means that it covers the coursework for the entire semester.

6. There is no make-up for the make-up, so do not miss the make-up exam.
Classroom Behavior:

Classroom behavior that seriously interferes with either the instructor’s ability to conduct the class, or the ability of other students to profit from the instructional program will not be tolerated. Any individual engaging in disruptive behavior may be subject to disciplinary action and/or the reduction of his/her total course grade. Examples of disruptive behavior are: routinely entering class late or departing early; the use of beepers, cellular phones and other electronic devices without prior clearance from the instructor; repeatedly talking in class without being recognized or talking while others in class are talking; arguing in class that is perceived to “cross the civility line.”

A demand for curving grades or for an extra point in forms of question, request, complaint, or proposal, will not be tolerated.

The use of beepers, cellular phones, and other similar electronic devices is prohibited in the classroom. In the event that a student legitimately needs to carry such a device, permission may be granted if the student notifies the instructor of the circumstances before class.

Reading Requirements:

Students must keep up with the assigned readings. In addition, students will be responsible for current events information presented by the instructor in class as it pertains to the course material.


If you are a qualified student with a disability seeking accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you are required to self-identify with the Office of Student Life, Room 202, Student Union.


University regulations prohibit visitors, including children, from “sitting in” during class. Only officially enrolled students may attend class.

Syllabus Receipt Form:

After receiving the course syllabus, all students must sign a form indicating that they have received, read, and understand the syllabus. You will not be permitted to take any course exams, until you have signed the Syllabus Receipt Form.

Drop Date: Friday, October 25 is the last day to drop or add regular classes.

Lectures and Readings

WK 1---Overview/Institutional Structure ALP chap.2. CCP chap.2.

WK 2---Overview/Activity and Custom ALP chap.1. CCP chap.7.

WK 3---Apportionment and Representation ALP chap.3. CCP chap.5.

WK 4---Election and Campaigns ALP chap.4. CCP chaps. 8&9.

WK 5---Characteristics of Legislators ALP chap.5.

WK 6---Committee System ALP chaps.6&7. CCP chaps. 16&19.

WK 7---Decision Making ALP chap.8 CCP chaps. 24&27

WK 8---Political Parties and Legislature ALP chap.9. CCP chaps. 20&23

WK 9---Interest Groups and Legislature ALP chap.10.

WK10---Legislative Oversight ALP chap.12.

WK11---Executive-Legislative Structures ALP chap.5.


---Presidential-Congressional Relations chap. .

*Dates on the schedule are tentative and subject to change in the event of unexpected events.

©All lectures and exams are copyrighted and are the sole property of Dr. Manabu Saeki.

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