This course introduces the student to certain fundamental cases in Constitutional law, to the questions they raise, and to the modes of thought and criticism appropriate to this field. There is necessarily a large historical component to the work, for the Constitution has acquired its meaning over time. Major questions include: What is the justification for judicial review? What are appropriate occasions and standards for the exercise of this power? How has the power actually been used throughout our history? These questions are considered in the context of doctrinal fields chosen for variety of issues and to allow consideration of historical development over the full life of the Constitution. These fields include: the scope of federal powers; preemption; state regulation of interstate commerce (in some sections); powers of the President; relations between branches of the federal government; basic principles of racial equal protection; Congressional enforcement power under the Reconstruction Amendments; and justiciability.
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