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Fall 2012
5488 Constitutional Law - OREN- 18876

Professor(s): Laura Oren (EMERTI)

Credits: 4

Course Areas: 2nd Year - Part-Time 

Time: MW: 6:00p-7:20p  T: 7:30p-8:50pLocation: 144  TU2

Course Outline: COURSE DESCRIPTION: Constitutional Law is a required first-year class. It touches on two major dimensions of our constitutional scheme: (1) the distribution of powers horizontally (separation of powers) and vertically (federalism); and (2) the individual liberties guaranteed under the Constitution, especially under the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses. This is an introduction only; the Law Center offers advanced classes about individual liberties such as Equal Protection and Due Process; the First Amendment; Constitutional Tort Litigation (seminar) and advanced classes on federal jurisdiction and federal courts.

Course Syllabus:

Course Notes:   

Prerequisites: No  

First Day Assignments: ASSIGNMENT FOR WEEK #1: August 27, 28, & 29 2012 (sign up for TWEN at and find our course already created)

1) ASSIGNMENT FOR Monday, August 27, 2012:
Stone (S) (6th edition, 2009): The Constitution of the US, AND pp. 1-29;
Stone Supp. (SS), (as appropriate);
Handout, "Our Founding Mothers and Fathers, The Iroquois"
Handout, "The Chronicle of the Constitutional Contradiction"(chapter from D. Bell, AND WE ARE NOT SAVED)
The handouts are available on the websites below:

Constitutional Contradiction Chapter (pdf)

Iroquois Reading (pdf)

Continue, and ADD:
ON TWEN at “Course Materials” site–“Constitutional Influences Puzzle”

3) ASSIGNMENT FOR Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Continue + (posted on TWEN at Course Materials) Earl M. Maltz, “The Function of Supreme Court Decisions” 37 Houston Law Review 1395 (2000).

What is meant by "federalist," "antifederalist," "classical republicanism," "Madisonian republicanism," "Lockean liberalism," and "pluralism"?

What views of human nature and the end or purpose of government are reflected in each of these philosophies?

Are any of these views of constitutional government similar to the Great Law of the Iroquois? Which one(s)? How?

What is the "Constitutional Contradiction" identified by Geneva Crenshaw in her fictional Chronicle?

How would you describe your own philosophy of constitutional government?

With Constitutional Influences Puzzle: What do the terms in the boxes mean? What relationships can you describe between boxes?

With Maltz: What does he mean by the “legitimizing” function of Supreme Court opinions? The “constraining” function? The “lawmaking” function? What is the significance of the difference between a decision with an opinion, and “summary” action? How does a concurring opinion differ from one concurring in the judgment only? How does a “holding” differ from “dictum”?

Final Exam Schedule: 12/11 5-10pm  240 TU2  215 TU2  

This course will have:
Exam: Yes
Paper: No

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement: No