731 Constitutional Law I - §003, Spring 2014

Categories: Constitutional Law

Instructor(s) Quraishi-Landes, Asifa

This course studies the separation of powers set up in the Constitution, both between the three branches of federal government, as well as that between federal and state authority. It is important to know that Professor Asifa Quraishi-Landes's section uses the casebook titled Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (edited by Brest, Levinson, Balkin, Amar and Siegel), which takes an historical approach to understanding the U.S. Constitution and American constitutional law. As a result, the course is taught against the recurring theme that what constitutes a good or persuasive constitutional argument has changed and will continue to change over time. In class, students will explore how what the Constitution means is often intertwined with the question of how one chooses to interpret it, who is the person or institution performing this interpretation, and why the question is presented in the first place. To help students to go beyond the doctrinal rules of the law, Professor Quraishi-Landes uses several non- traditional techniques, including role plays (where students literally wear the hat of a past constitutional character), video supplements, internet streaming audio/video, and real life hypotheticals. She expects students to come to class prepared to articulate the relevant constitutional rulings as well as their own analyses of the issues. The goal is an interactive classroom environment that is demanding yet open and alive.

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