Constitutional Law I, M - Kobil


Course Title

Constitutional Law I, M



First Assignment




For the first week of classes beginning Monday, August, 26, 2013, please sign up for this class on TWEN and also read the following in ERWIN CHEMERINSKY, CONSTITUTIONAL  LAW (Aspen, 4th Ed. 2013)(ISBN 978-1-4548-1753-6):



Week 1:           Introduction to the Constitution, Judicial Review, and Methods of Interpretation; Limits on the Judicial Power. 


  • SKIM the U.S. Constitution:  pp. xli-lvii (read Article III closely as it is relevant to Marbury);  
  • READ pp. 1-45 in the casebook.    
  • Read “In Defense of Looseness,” an essay on constitutional interpretation and Heller originally published in the New Republic by conservative Judge Richard Posner.  It is reproduced at  Note that Posner chides Justice Scalia as being result oriented, not conservative.  Do you agree or disagree with Posner?  What does it mean to be “conservative” or “liberal” in the context of the Constitution? 
  • On Monday, we will begin by will begin by studying the famous case of Marbury v. Madison (pay particular attention to what Marshall describes as the role of the Court in saying what the Constitution means).   Next, we will look at how the courts interpret the Constitution.  We will consider the problems of constitutional interpretation that surround controversial issues of gun control and gun ownership rights, as exemplified by the Court’s holding in Heller.  Which side is right about the original meaning of the Constitution?  Should that original meaning be binding on us today?  What is the Court’s actual holding and what does Heller mean for future gun control legislation?  By Wednesday, we will begin discussing limits on federal judicial power at pp. 33-45. 

         In our: STUDENT DEV. WORKSHOP: 650 M Constitutional Law I from 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Monday, we will discuss how you might approach reading Constitutional Law cases, and the various reasons particular cases are included in our casebook, particularly Marbury v. Madison.