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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Constitutional Theory Seminar: Interpretation in Theory and Practice (Fall 2019)

  • Course Number: LAW-875
  • Class Number: 03645
  • Instructor: Rebecca Brown

Course Description

Co-taught with Omar Noureldin

This seminar offers in-depth study of different approaches to constitutional interpretation and different conceptions of the role of the Supreme Court, including the role of judicial review in a democracy.  Readings will consist primarily of writings of influential scholars on various aspects of constitutional interpretation.

Specific topics will include:

          -Judicial activism and restraint

          -Originalism and its critiques

          -Moral principle

          -Extrajudicial interpretation of the Constitution

          The seminar will be in discussion format, with students assigned each week to lead the discussion.  A portion of the grade will be based on class participation.  A first draft and final paper will be required, with an expected length of at least 30 pages double spaced, on a topic inspired by readings in the course.

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 3
  • Grading Options: Numerical Only
  • Schedule: W 10:00 am - 11:50 am
  • Room Number: Room 118/120
  • Exam: Paper
  • Writing Requirement: Yes with submission of the Upper Division Writing Requirement Form.
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: No
  • Participation: Graded
  • Pre-requisites: Con Law: Structure and either First Amendment or Con Law: Rights; Or with permission of the instructor
  • Enrollment Limitation: 16 studnets