Constitutional Law (Spring 2014) – Syllabus
Email: ConLawSpring2014@JoshBlackman.com (please use this instead of my STCL email)
Course Homepage: http://joshblackman.com/blog/classes/constitutional-law-spring-2014/
Office: Room 623
Welcome to Constitutional Law. This class will cover a wide range of topics in constitutional law, including our constitutional structure, the scope of federal powers, the separation of powers, the 14th Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection clauses, individual liberty, federalism, the First Amendment speech and religion clauses, the Second Amendment, the Supreme Court, and many other topics. We will be using “The Constitution of the United States” by Paulsen, Calabresi, McConnell, Bray (Second Edition, Foundation Press, 2013).
Your final grade will be based entirely on your performance on a three-hour in-class examination. We will hold a review session before the exam.
The exam is completely open-book. You can use anything you wish, so long as that it was printed before the distribution of this exam. Obtaining any new information from anyone or anything after the exam is distributed is prohibited.
Attendance and Class Participation:
Please consult the South Texas College of Law Student Handbook’s section on Attendance and Class Participation (pp. 70-71). I will not keep track of your attendance. You will be responsible for keeping track of your own class attendance.
I will hold office hours on Monday and Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and at other times by appointment.
I expect that all students will be prepared to engage in our discussions during each session. During class, I will leave open a live chat (known as a backchannel) on the course blog, that will allow you to interact with your colleagues, and with me at the podium, in real time. The livechat will be projected on the screen, so everyone, with or without a laptop, will be able to follow along. Please keep the discussion civil. I reserve the right to delete any comments I find inappropriate.
Outside of class, there will be several channels available to interact with me and your colleagues.
First, you can reach me via email at ConLawSpring2014@JoshBlackman.com. Please think the question through before emailing me.
I will rely on the course blog to post all announcements and materials for class. You will be responsible for checking the course blog prior to class.
You can receive updates about new posts by following the class on Twitter (twitter.com/joshsclasses), liking it on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Conlaw-Spring-2014/586256611442255), subscribing to it via RSS (http://feeds.feedburner.com/JoshBlackmansBlog2014-spring-conlaw), or signing up for a daily email digest of all new posts. I would recommend that you sign up for the daily emails. You can also view all the class videos by subscribing to the YouTube channel.
Class 1 – 1/15/14
Our Founding Documents
- The Declaration of Independence
- The Articles of Confederation (pp. 1633-1638)
- The Constitution of the United States (pp. 1-15).
- The Adoption of the Constitution (19-27).
- Six broad themes of the Constitution (35-39).
- Map of the Constitution (39-42).
Note: Read these documents in their entirety. They’re not long. And no one should graduate law school without reading them at least once.
Class 2 – 1/22/14
Why is the Constitution Supreme?
- Constitutional Supremacy and Interpretation (123-124).
- Federalist No. 51 (128-129).
- Federalist No. 78 (133-138).
- Background of Marbury v. Madison and Judicial Review (140-143).
- Marbury v. Madison (143-155).
- Stuart v. Laird (155-156).
- Judicial Supremacy and letters from Jefferson and Madison (159-161)
Class 3 – 1/27/14
The Separation of Powers
- Separation of Powers (173-175).
- Youngstown Sheet & Tube (175-190).
- The Powers of Congress – Article I (190-192).
- Enumerated Powers (192-193).
- M’Culloch v. Maryland (193-209)
Class 4 – 1/29/14
The Legislative Powers
- Bicameralism & Presentment (260-261).
- INS v. Chadha (261-272).
- Clinton v. City of New York (272-281).
- Read Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution (3-4).
- Enumerated Powers in Article I, Section 8 (281-283).
- Bills of Attainder (283-284).
- Note 5 – Nixon v. GSA (293-294).
- Ex Post Facto Clause (294-295).
- Contracts Clause (295).
Class 5 – 2/3/14
The Executive Powers I – Appointments Power
- The Executive Power – Article II (296-297).
- Notes (306-308).
- The Appointment Power (334-335).
- The “Removal” Power (348-351).
- Myers v. United States (351-366).
- Humphrey’s Executor v. United States (366-370).
- Morrison v. Olson – Removal (370-382).
- National Labor Relations Board v. Canning: Case overview in plain english, and oral argument recap
- The “Faithfully Executed” Clause (316-318).
- The “Take Care” clause (330-331).
- Impeachment (475).
Class – 2/5/14 – CLASS CANCELLED
Class 6 – 2/10/14
The Executive Powers II- Foreign Affairs and War
- Inherent Executive Powers (308).
- Executive Powers for Foreign Affairs (383-385).
- Curtiss-Wright (385-390).
- Dames & Moore v. Regan (392-399).
- The War Power (411-413). Practice and Precedent (415-416).
- Prisoners of War and Civilian Detention (439-440).
- Ex Parte Milligan (440-444).
Class 8 – 2/12/14
The Executive Powers III – Detention
- Ex Parte Quirin (444-454).
- Korematsu v. United States (454-468).
- Authorization for Use of Military Force (434-435).
- Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (468-475).
Class 9 – 2/17/14
The Judicial Power
- Judicial Power – Article III (486-491).
- Correspondences of the Justices about Advisory Opinions (501-503).
- “Case or Controversy” requirement (504-507).
- Summers v. Earth Land Institute (513-519).
- Political Question doctrine (519-520).
- Luther v. Borden (520-528).
- Art. III Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts (537).
- Congressional authority over federal jurisdiction (544-548).
- Ex Parte McCardle (550-557).
Class 10 – 2/19/14
Scope of Federal Powers I
- Federalism (577-578).
- Federalism Map (578-581).
- Federalist No. 10 (581-587).
- National Powers (588).
- The Ninth and Tenth Amendment (1258-1262).
- Early Disputes over National Power (588-591).
- Gibbons v. Ogden (591-597).
- History of Commerce and Necessary and Proper (598-605).
- United States v. Darby (605-607).
Class 11 – 2/24/14
Scope of Federal Powers II
- Wickard v. Filburn (607-612).
- The modern debate (612).
- Hearts of Atlanta Motel (612-617).
- United States v. Lopez(617-637).
Class 12 – 2/26/14
Scope of Federal Powers III
- Taxing Power (637-643).
- The Spending “Power” (643-645).
- United States v. Butler (645-648).
- South Dakota v. Dole (648-656).
- New York v. United States (657-670).
- Printz v. United States (670-683)
Makeup Class – 2/27/43 or 2/28/14 or 3/2/14
National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (“Obamacare”)
- Enumerated Powers and Federalism (597-598).
- NFIB v. Sebelius (683-711).
- NFIB Notes (711-715).
- Excerpt (Foreword and Introduction) from Unprecedented: A Constitutional Challenge to Obamacare
Class 13 – 3/3/14
The Reconstruction Amendments
- The Text, Structure, and History of the Reconstruction Amendments (1265-1266).
- The Thirteenth Amendment (1266-1267).
- The Fourteenth Amendment (1267-1271).
- Slaughter-House Cases (1271-1287) (Skim majority but read the dissents).
- Notes (1288-1291).
- Early Interpretation of Equal Protection (1292).
- Bradwell v. Illinois (1292-1295).
- Minor v. Happersett (1295-1301).
- Strauder v. West Virginia (1301-1306).
Class 14 – 3/5/14
The Enforcement Powers of the 14th Amendment
- Enforcement Powers (1306-1307).
- The Civil Rights Cases (1307-1318).
- Notes (1318-1322).
- Note on 11th Amendment (1262-1263).
- Sovereign Immunity (557-558).
- 11th Amendment (558).
- Chisolm v. Georgia (558-566).
- Hans v. Louisiana (566-570).
- City of Boerne v. Flores (1327-1337).
- United States v. Morrison (1322-1327).
Class 15 – 3/10/14
Equal Protection and Segregation
- Citizenship Clause (768-771).
- Dred Scott v. Sandford (771-794).
- Dred Scott notes (794-800).
- Segregation Cases (1337).
- Railroad Company v. Brown (1337-1339).
- Plessy v. Ferguson (1339-1346).
Class 16 – 3/13/14
Equal Protection and Desegregation
- Cumming v. Board of Education (1346-1349).
- Giles v. Harris (1349-1352).
- Berea College v. Kentucky (1352-1359).
- Desegregation Cases (1359-1360).
- Board v. Board of Education (I) (1360-1363).
- Bolling v. Sharpe (1363-1364).
- Brown v. Board of Education (II) (1364-1365).
- Notes (1365-1370).
Spring Break – No Classes on 3/17/14 and 3/19/14
Class 17 – 3/24/14
- Discriminatory Intent v. Disparate Impact & Washington v. Davis (1379-1383).
- Affirmative Action (1386-1389).
- Grutter v. Bollinger (1389-1401).
- Notes (1401-1405).
- Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin – summary
- Affirmative Action Outside Education (1405-1407).
Class 18 – 3/26/14
Race & Gender Discrimination
- Loving v. Virginia (1373-1379).
- Sex Discrimination (1407).
- Craig v. Boren (1407-1416).
- United States v. Virgnia (1416-1424).
- Beyond Race and Sex (1425-1428).
Class 19 – 3/31/14
Substantive Due Process and Economic Liberty
- Due Process of Law (1443-1444).
- Due Process and Separation of Powers (1444-1446).
- Substantive due process (1463-1464).
- Lochner v. New York (1465-1473).
- West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1473-1476).
- “Fundamental Interests” (1441-1443).
- Rehabilitating Lochner, by David Bernstein
Class 20 – 4/2/14
Individual Liberty I
- Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1476-1478).
- Buck v. Bell (1428-1432).
- Griswold v. Connecticut (1478-1494).
Class 21 – 4/7/14
Individual Liberty II
- Eisenstadt v. Baird (1494-1500).
- Roe v. Wade (1500-1516).
- Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1516-1540).
- Notes (1540-1544).
Class 22 – 4/9/14
Individual Liberty III
- Romer v. Evans (1432-1441).
- Lawrence v. Texas (1557-1571).
- Notes (1571-1572).
- United States v. Windsor: Recap and Article on Federalism and DOMA
- Substantive due process review (1572).
Class – 4/14/14 – CLASS CANCELLED
Class 23 – 4/16/13
Procedural Due Process, Article IV Federalism, and the Treaty Power
- Matthews v. Eldridge (1456-1463).
- Article IV Federalism (741-744).
- The Guarantee Clause (800).
- Texas v. White (starting with note 8 on p 811-815).
- Treaty Power (736).
- Missouri v. Holland (736-738).
- Reid v. Covert (738-741).
- United States v. Bond – Oral argument recap
Class 25 – 4/21/14
The First Amendment – Speech I
- The Addition of the Bill of Rights (43).
- Amemdment Process – Article V (817-818).
- Amendments Outside Article V (821-822 notes 14 and 15).
- Barron v. Baltimore (48-53).
- The BIll of Rights (827-831).
- The First Amendment (831-836).
- New York Times v. Sullivan (853-861).
- Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (880-884).
- Categorical exclusions (885-887).
Class 26 – 4/23/14
The First Amendment Speech II
- Brown v. EMA (887-900).
- United States v. O’Brien (900-907).
- Texas v. Johnson (907-917).
- Time, Place, and Manner Regulations (917-918).
- Renton v. Playtime Theaters (918-924). Incitement (924). Clear and Present Danger (927-931 note 3).
- Brandenburg v. Ohio (935-937).
- Note on Central Hudson (979-980).
Class 27 – 4/28/14
The First Amendment – Free Exercise
- The First Amendment – Religion (836-839)
- Freedom of Religion (1103-1104).
- Madisons’ Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments (1104-1106).
- The Free Exercise Clause (1110-1111).
- Stansburg v. Marks (1111-1113).
- Employment Division v. Smith (1116-1129).
- Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius (Materials to be Posted)
Class 28 – 4/30/14
The First Amendment – Establishment Clause and The Second Amendment
- Establishment Clause (1133).
- American Jewish Congress v. City of Chicago and notes (1133-1147).
- The Second Amendment (1192-1194).
- District of Columbia v. Heller (1195-1212).
Final Exam Review Session