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Constitutional Law

Monday, September 26, 2016
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The 2016 election is nearly upon us, and the Supreme Court hangs in the balance. This course provides a brief primer on the Supreme Court and the US legal system, then explores our nation’s founding charter and the seminal cases interpreting it. Using Supreme Court opinions as our guide, we will focus on the Constitution’s basic structure and design, investigating the principles of judicial review, federalism, and separation of powers. We will begin with Chief Justice John Marshall’s foundational opinion inMarbury v. Madison, as we discuss the Supreme Court’s role in reviewing legislative enactments. Next, we will explore the commerce clause, focusing on recent challenges to the Affordable Care Act. We will then discuss the executive branch’s role in foreign affairs, including the constitutional implications of the “War on Terror.” Finally, we will unravel the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, wading into some of the Court’s more controversial pronouncements on race and gender discrimination, abortion rights, and same-sex marriage. With the Supreme Court (and the nation) poised on the brink of a potentially transformative election, there’s no better time to explore, discuss, and debate the Constitution. 

Constitutional Law

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