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Lecture 4

POLS 4050 Lecture 4: Megan Morrow - Week 4 POLS 4050

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 4050
Jordi Diez

Megan Morrow Professor Jordi Diez POLS 4050 Critical Comments Week 4 Dahl – Decision making in Democracy: The Supreme Court as a National Policy Maker -I thought this article was well written for the 1957. I only ever skimmed Almond’s 1956 essay when I did my presentation last semester but Dahl’s writing style kind of reminded me of his. I read this article first and it stood out to me when he said “suggests it must, o pass over the ticklish question of federalism and deal only with 'national majorities and minorities” I didn’t know what he meant but I thought it sounded odd, Dahl seemed to ignore things in his writing to make his data applicable, but Casper corrected these mistakes. -I wasn’t completely convinced by Dahl’s argument that American Courts were aiming to protect minorities. This article was written in 1957 and I feel like things didn’t start getting better for minority groups in Canada or the U.S until the 80’s. I feel like this almost can’t apply to today in a way because the civil rights movement, black power, the gay rights movement. Especially the gay community during the AIDS epidemic, they were the people who created their own community and had to push so hard for anything AIDS related to get on the agenda, I feel like the courts role was way more important because it judicial review was basically the most radical thing happening at the time. Bickel – The Least Dangerous Branch: The Supreme Court at the Bar of Politics - I’m sorry I was having issues with this, I thought I had a PDF downloaded and I thought it would be important because you mentioned this article week 2, but ARES told me I wasn’t registered in our class and it wouldn’t open on the library website but I am. I tried to at least skim Marbury Madison before class. Horowitz – The Courts and Social Policy -I thought in general, it wasn’t really the point of these three articles but none of them did the best job of describing the climate of how difficult it was to get issues on the agenda. Horowitz did the best job of describing the climate of the time. As in, when I learned about how badly American prisoners were treated in POLS 3300, it was a difficult issue to get on the agenda for several reasons. However, I feel like what I learned in that class is what Horowitz is talking about. The courts were a way for people to push issues on to the agenda and it was really the only way funds were given to places like prisons and psych wards but I feel like Horowitz does a good job highlighting this. I thought this article was well written I wish he included more information about paid expert witnesses -Horowitz claims “judicial intervention in matters of social policy has greatly increased and will not soon
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