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658 - Advanced Constitutional Law
Professor: Edward B. Foley
Semester: 2010 Autumn
Second Writing Requirement? No
Professional Responsibility? No
This course will address the major fundamental issues concerning the role of the Constitution in our system of law and government, as well as the role of the Supreme Court as the primary institution responsible for interpreting and enforcing the provisions of the Constitution. We will examine the leading theories of constitutional interpretation, including various forms of originalism, constructivism, and "representation-reinforcing" proceduralism. Special emphasis will be placed on theories of stare decisis in the context of constitutional adjudication: when is it appropriate for the Supreme Court to consider itself bound by its own prior interpretations of the Constitution, even if the Court now believes the prior interpretation is incorrect? We will address the role of judicial nominations in the transformation of constitutional law and the possibility of constitutional amendments by means other than the procedure set forth in the Constitution itself (Article V). Our readings will be primarily law journal articles and excerpts from books, although occasionally we will refer to specific cases to illustrate the application of theoretical principles.
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.