American constitutional law (wykład) - 2018/2019
dr Delaine Swenson prof. KUL
Faculty of Law, Canon Law and Administration - Instytut Prawa
Number of hours (week/semester):
Language of instruction:
OBJECTIVES: This class introduces students to legal issues under the United States Constitution. The class first explores the type of government the US Constitution creates focusing on issues like separation of powers and federalism. The second half of the course focuses on individual rights under the American system focusing on the Bill of Rights and rights like freedom of speech, association, religion, and privacy.
COURSE TYPE AND PREREQUISITES: elective course for III, IV, V year students of law, administration, European studies, intermediate level of English.
K_W03 Knows and understands legal terminology in the field of particular areas of law
K_W04 Has basic knowledge of the sources of law in the field of specific areas of law and the hierarchy of legal norms. He knows the general principles of creating law and application (legislative process, binding force, unconstitutionality, invalidity of a legal transaction)
K_W05 Knows and understands the principles of the interpretation of law
K_W06 Knows the basic features and functions of the basic areas of law and understands the principles of their functioning. He has knowledge about entities involved in legal relations specific to particular fields
K_W11 Has knowledge about legal norms that organize legal structures and institutions and the rules that govern them. In this area, he identifies the development directions of specific areas of law
K_W12 Has knowledge ordered in the field of procedural standards and understands the process of their application (including administrative, criminal, civil)
K_U02 Is able to use the basic theoretical knowledge in the field of various areas of law in order to analyze and interpret specific legal, economic and social processes and phenomena
K_U03 Has the ability to use legal concepts to understand and analyze legal phenomena
K_U10 Has the ability to use the acquired knowledge in various fields and forms to solve dilemmas appearing in professional work, in particular critical analysis of the effectiveness and usefulness of the applied knowledge
This course is taught using a variety of interactive teaching methods including class discussion, socratic dialogue and small group activities and using the American case study method.
Course content description
The Historical and Political Basis for the US Constitution
Reading: Declaration of Independence; Articles of Confederation;
Federalism and the Concepts of Separation of Powers; The Judicial Branch -Courts under the US Constitution
Reading: Marbury v. Madison; Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee; Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife; Flast v. Cohen.
The Legislative Branch - Congress
Reading: McCulloch v. Maryland; Hammer v. Dagenhart; Wickard v. Filburn; Atlanta Motel v United States; United States v. Lopez; Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Company; South Dakota v. Dole; Reid v. Covert.
The Executve – The President and Administration
Reading: Morrison v. Olsen; Youngstown Co. v. Sawyer; 1973 War Powers Act; United States v. Nixon; Medellin v. Texas
First Amendment – Freedom of Religion – The Establishment Clause
Reading: Everson v. Board of Education of Ewing TP; Lemon v. Kurtzmen; Wallace v. Jaffree; Lynch v. Donnelly; McCreary County v. ACLU; Van Order v. Perry
First Amendment – Freedom of Religion – Free Exercise
Reading: West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette; Cantwell v. Connecticut; Torcaso v. Watkins; Sherbert v. Werner; Bowen v. Roy; Wisconsin v. Yoder; Employment Division v. Smith.
First Amendment – Freedom of Speech
Reading: Coates v. City of Cincinnati; New York Times Co. v. United States; Edwards v. South Carolina; United States v. O’Brien; Burning Crosses, Burning Flags – Expressive Conduct and Free Speech; Brandenburg v. Ohio.
Freedom of Speech Continued/Freedom of Press and Association
Reading: Cohen v. California; Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire; Miller v. California; New York Times Co. v. Sullivan; Richmond Newspapers Inc. v. Virginia.
The Right to Privacy
Reading: Griswold v. Connecticut; Roe v. Wade; Bowers v. Hardwick, Lawrence v. Texas
Procedural and Substantive Due Process
Reading: Duncan v. Louisiana;
The Right to Equal Protection
Reading: Rostker v. Goldberg; Craig v. Boren; Loving v. Virginia; Brown v. Board of Education; Korematsu v. United States; Gratz v. Bollinger
Right to Keep and Bear Arms; Right to Travel; Right to Refuse Medical Treatment
Reading: District of Columbia v. Heller; Others as assigned
Right to Vote; The Takings Clause
Reading: Crawford v. Marion County, Others as assigned
Contemporary Issues in American Constitutional Law
Reading: Boumediene v. Bush, Munaf v. Geren, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld
Forms of assessment
Students will be evaluated based on classroom participation and a written exam at the end of class done in the American legal exam style involving both short answer questions and a fact pattern where the students will be required to apply the I.R.A.C. method of legal reasoning. 20% of grade will be class attendance and participation, 80% based on the final exam. Final exam will be evaluated on student\'s ability to identify issues, rules raised by the questions, provide legal analysis and conclusions. Correct identification of all issues and rules as well as complete analysis would be a 5, Identification of most Issues and Rules and a good analysis would be a 4, identification of some issues and rules and passing analysis would be a 3.
Required reading list
Required reading list: Obligatory reading materials are distributed during the course of the class. Reading includes cases from the United States Supreme Court.
Cases and Materials on Constitutional Law, Grump, Gressman and Reiss, Matthew Bender, New York 1989
Constitutional Law, Stone, Seidman, Sunstein, Tushnet, Little Brown and Company, New York, 1991
Field of study: Law
Course listing in the Schedule of Courses:
Year IV - Semester 7
Number of ECTS credits: 6
Form of assessment: Grade
Year V - Semester 9
Number of ECTS credits: 6
Form of assessment: Grade