| There is no required
For students with strong interests in constitutional law, a suggested
reference for this course (as well as for Constitutional Law II and
First Amendment Law) is Constitutional Law (8th Ed., 2009) by
Rotunda. Nowak's and Rotunda's book is a traditional
in the West series.
I. INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY OF THE CONSTITUTION
TOPIC 1: The Nature and Structure of the Constitution
We will also in this session to consider the role of the United States Supreme Court in American government. Read materials on the SUPREME COURT IN THE AMERICAN SYSTEM page. We will discuss how the Court decides what cases to take, and how it decides the ones that it does accept. We will discuss the cert process, the briefing process, oral argument, Supreme Court conferences, and the preparation and significance of majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions. We will also discuss briefly the make-up of the current Supreme Court and the process of nominating and confirming Supreme Court justices.
II. JUDICIAL REVIEW AND THEORIES OF CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION
TOPIC 4: The Origins and Scope of Judicial Review
Read the THEORIES OF CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION page on the website, including the case Marsh v. Chambers and Griswold v. Connecticut. We will discuss the very different approaches to interpretion reflected in those two cases.III. THE BILL OF RIGHTS
TOPIC 6: Introduction to the History
Significance of the Bill of Rights
Read materials on the INTRODUCTION TO THE BILL OF RIGHTS to the adoption of the Bill of Rights. What were the principal objections of the Anti-Federalists to the Constitution? How were those objections countered? Compare Madison's original proposal for a Bill of Rights with the amendments actually adopted. Examine the debates in the House and Senate concerning the proposed Bill of Rights. What were the principal arguments for and against adoption of the Bill of Rights? Think about the questions asked on the website and read Barron v Baltimore.
TOPIC 7: The Incorporation Debate
Read the INCORPORATION DEBATE page on the website, including the three cases we will discuss: The Slaughter-House Cases, Adamson v. California, Duncan v. Louisiana, and McDonald v Chicago.TOPIC 8: The Free Speech Clause--An Introduction & The Free Speech Rights of Students
Read the INTRODUCTION TO FREE SPEECH page on the website. We will discuss general approaches courts might take to evaluating restrictions on speech imposed by government. Read also the FREE SPEECH RIGHTS OF STUDENTS page on the website. Our principal cases will include: Tinker v Des Moines, Bethel v Fraser, Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier, and Morse v Frederick.TOPIC 9: The Right to Bear Arms
Read the RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS page on the website. Our principal cases will include United States v Miller, District of Columbia v Heller, and McDonald v Chicago.
TOPIC 10: The Fourth Amendment -- Unreasonable Searches of Students
TOPIC 11: Cruel and Unusual Punishment Under the Eighth Amendment
Read the CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT page on the website. Our principal cases will be Francis v Resweber, Ingraham v Wright, Furman v Georgia (use "Death Penalty : Cases and Materials" link to find), Hudson v McMillan, and Roper v Simmons. Note that we will NOT discuss Harmelin v Michigan.
IV. THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT: SUBSTANTIVE DUE PROCESS
TOPIC 12: Substantive Due Process--Is There a Liberty of Contract?
Read the LIBERTY OF CONTRACT page on the website. Our principal cases will be Lochner v New York, Nebbia v New York, and Williamson v Lee Optical.TOPIC 13: The Right to Privacy
Read the RIGHT TO PRIVACY page on the website. Our principal cases will Meyer v Nebraska, Ravin v State, Kelley v Johnson, Lawrence v Texas, and Cruzan v Missouri Department of Health. We will also consider how two previously discussed cases, Griswold v Connecticut and Stanley v Georgia, fit into the development of the privacy doctrine. (This topic might take most of two sessions to cover.)TOPIC 14: The Right to Abortion
Read the RIGHT TO ABORTIONS page on the website. Our principal cases will be Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey.V. THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT: EQUAL PROTECTION
TOPIC 15: Levels of Scrutiny Under the Equal Protection Clause
Read the LEVELS OF SCRUTINY UNDER THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE page on the website. Our principal cases will be Railway Express v New York, Kotch v River Port Pilot Commissioners, Skinner v Oklahoma, Korematsu v United States, and Loving v Virginia.TOPIC 16: Seperate But Equal Education
Read the SEPERATE BUT EQUAL EDUCATION page on the website. Our principal cases will be Plessy v Ferguson, Missouri ex rel. Gaines v Canada, Brown v Board of Education, Brown v Board of Education (II), and Griffin v School Board of Prince Edward County.TOPIC 17: Proving Unconstitutional Discrimination
Read the PROVING UNCONSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATION page on the website. Our prinicipal cases will be Yick Wo v Hopkins, Washington v Davis, Arlington Heights v Metropolitan Housing Authority, and Batson v Kentucky.TOPIC 18: The Proposed Equal Rights Amendment & Gender-Based Classifications
Read the EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT page on the website. Our principal cases will be Craig v Boren and Michael M v Superior Court. Study the language of the proposed E. R. A. How would have its adoption affected analysis of gender classification?TOPIC 19: Gender Equality in the Schools
Read the GENDER EQUALITY IN THE SCHOOLS page on the website. Our principal cases will be Mississippi Univ. for Women v Hogan and United States v Virginia.TOPIC 20: Affirmative Action
Read the AFFIRMATIVE ACTION page on the website. Our principal cases will be Regents of the University of California v Bakke, Grutter v Bollinger, Parents Involved v Seattle, and Richmond v J. R. Croson.TOPIC 21: Aliengage Classifications
Read the RIGHTS OF NON-CITIZENS UNDER THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE page on the website. Our principal cases will be Graham v Richardson, In Re Griffiths, Ambach v Norwick, Bernal v Fainter, and Matthews v Diaz.TOPIC 22: The Rational Basis Test "with Bite"
Read the SHOULD THE RATIONAL BASIS TEST HAVE BITE? page on the website. Our principal cases will be Plyler v Doe, Cleburne v Cleburne Living Center, and Romer v Evans.TOPIC 23: The "Fundamental Rights" Strand of Equal Protection Law: The Right to Vote and the Right to Education
Read the EQUAL PROTECTION AND FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS page on the website. Our principal cases will be Reynolds v Sims, Kramer v Union Free School District, Bush v Gore,
M.L.B. v S.L.J, and San Antonio Independent School District v Rodriquez.
VI. THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT: PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS
TOPIC 24: Procedural Due Process
Read the PROCEDURAL DUE PROCESS page on the website. Our principal cases will be Board v Roth, Wisconsin v Constantineau, Paul v Davis, Vitek v Jones, Mackey v Montrym, Cleveland Board of Ed. v Loudermill, and Board of Curators of the University of Missouri v Horowitz.
TOPIC 25: The Government's Duty to Protect Lives Under the Due Process Clause (both substantive and procedural)
Read the THE GOVERNMENT'S DUTY TO PROTECT LIVES UNDER THE DUE PROCESS CLAUSE page on the website. Our principal cases will be DeShaney v Winnebago Dep't of Social Service, Estate of Sinthasomphone v Milwaukee, and Castle Rock v Gonzales.
VII. STATE ACTION
TOPIC 26: Racial Discrimination and the State Action Requirement
Read the RACIAL DISCRIMINATION AND THE STATE ACTION REQUIREMENT page on the website. Our principal cases will be Evans v Newton, Evans v Abney, Shelley v Kraemer, Burton v Wilmington, Moose Lodge v Irvin, and Edmonson v Leesville Concrete.VIII. REVIEW
TOPIC 27: Review