Spring 2022

Professor John Ben Sutter

GOVT 2306

Your writing assignment is an essay listing and discussing the five topics about Texas government this semester that you consider the most significant and most important which you learned. Discuss briefly why you found these five issues so significant and important to your understanding of our national government and its role in your life.

Provide details about those five issues. For example, I consider the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution one the most important areas of study not only in my federal government class at Baylor University many years ago, but so significant that I took every class on constitutional law in undergraduate school, graduate school, and in law school. I found the study of the Constitution, in particular the Bill of Rights protection fascinating. I wrote my Master’s thesis on the judicial career of Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas (who was a close friend and advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson), whom I interviewed personally in Washington, D.C. What I found so interesting and captivating was, and continues to be, the importance of the issues addressed by the Texas court system and, in particular, the role of the Texas Supreme Court in determining the whether a law comports with the tenants set by the Texas Constitution.

Perhaps your study of how the election process works with regard to your right to vote, how you have a say in how our government works through the election process, is significant to you. Perhaps learning the role of members of the Texas Legislature—both in the House of Representatives and the Senate—was important to you because you learned their role in not only making laws for the nation but in providing services to the citizens they represent by personally assisting citizens in their districts and state with liaison to federal agencies that affect their lives (such as if your grandmother has problems with a bridge on a state road near her house in the county and cannot get help at the local office, her state representative’s office will contact the state highway department to help your grandmother get the problem corrected promptly. That is known as “constituent service” which the member of the Legislature provides and, in turn, gets the support of you and your Grandmother in the next election! And the Texas state agencies all provide members of the Texas Legislature with help in resolving their constituents’ issues because that pleases the members of the Legislature who vote on the funding for state agencies in the state budget. Government is very reflective of average, everyday life in that the rule “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” applies to how government works as well as our everyday lives.

So, your task is to identify the five issues you found most interesting and/or useful to you in our class. Write a 500-words essay. If you type your paper and double space, you’ll find 500 words to be more than two pages.

The 500 word-count requirement is a minimum word count. You can certainly go beyond that. I will deduct points for any paper under 500 words.

PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR WORD COUNT AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR COMPLETED ESSAY. I will apply a 5-point penalty if you fail to do so. Your word processor tells you the word count of a document at the bottom of most word processor screens. If you do not know how to find the word count on your particular word processor software, do a Google search for how to find the word count on that particular word processor software.

And please do your own work. Do not share your work with others, nor accept the work of others and claim it as your own.

Do not hesitate to write to me if you have questions or need help. I will assist you in whatever way I can as best I can. Good luck. I’m sure you’ll do a great job. Be conversational. You need not try to sound like you’re writing a dissertation in graduate school to get a good grade on this paper.





• Texas Constitution Read Chapter One

• Federalism Read Chapter Two

• Local Government Read Chapter Six


• Voting Read Chapter Seven

• Elections Read Chapter Eight

• Political Parties Read Chapter Nine

• Interest Groups Read Chapter Ten

• Media Read Chapter 14


• Texas Legislature Read Chapter Three

• Texas Executive Read Chapter Four

• Texas Public Policy Chapter Eleven


• Texas Courts Read Chapter Five

• Texas Criminal Justice Read Chapter Twelve