658 - Advanced Constitutional Law
Professor: Stanley K. Laughlin Jr.
Semester: 2009 Winter
Second Writing? No
Professional Responsibility? No
This course uses a unique format to explore various approaches to constitutional adjudication. During the first part of the course, the instructor will lead discussions of various constitutional and jurisprudential theories that affect constitutional law. ( e.g., originalism, non-interpretivism, realism, nihilism, "living constitutionalism", formalism, etc.) By the middle section of the course, each student will have been assigned a current U.S. Supreme Court justice to study. (To the extent possible, students will be allowed to express a choice of the justice they want to study.) During the second portion of the course, the student will study her or his assigned justice, make a report to the class on that justice's constitutional philosophy and prepare a short paper on that justice's constitutional philosophy. During the final portion of the course, we will test these assumptions about the Justices' philosophies by having all students participate in simulated Supreme Court deliberations over cases that are actually pending in the Supreme Court at the time. In his or her assigned deliberation, each student will play the role of the justice they have studied. Students will read the briefs in the chosen cases to prepare for the deliberations. After the deliberations, each student will write an opinion in their case, as they believe "their" justice would write it. The grade will be based on the paper about the justice, the opinion written by the student, and the student's presentation on the justice and participation in the deliberations. There will be no examination.
The course materials listed above are for informational purposes only and should not be considered final. Students must check with the Registrar for a current list of closed courses.