This class examines Constitutional law in the United States focusing on U.S. Supreme Court decisions while emphasizing interpretation: What is the Constitution? Who interprets the Constitution? How does one interpret the Constitution?

Critical reading and discussion are important. It is mandatory that the student read and study the assignments prior to class and think not just about the immediate holding or decision, but how each affects both the Constitution and society’s perception of the Constitution.

In class, we will discuss the ideas and issues presented in the readings. Discussion is essential to this class! The student should consider this class an open forum. No idea is wrong. No idea is bad. However, the student should not propose an idea simply for the sake of proposing it. When presenting an idea, the student should be prepared to argue and defend the idea logically. All opinions are welcome and encouraged.

Discussion is important because the student is expected to obtain clarity of and a proper presentation of ideas. Simply restating what the instructor or another student has said will not suffice. Each student should come to his/her own conclusions about the many issues that will be presented and discussed.

The scope of this class is large. As a result, many issues will not be covered. This does not mean they are irrelevant. Time simply does not allow an exploration of all of the potential issues presented by the course topic.



Date
Class Work
Homework
8/27/14
1. Student Information Sheets
2. Syllabus: Requirements, Expectations & Procedures
Read & Take notes on Constitutionalism & the Rule of Law DUE Friday 8/29
8/28/14
Learning Target: Define, independently and collectively, the meaning of the rule of law by brainstorming, critically viewing a video and discussing the rule of law with my peers.
1. Rule of Law: Brain storm Graphic Organizer
2. The Law Rules Video
3. Group Definitions
4. World Justice Project's Fact Sheet
Read & Take notes on Constitutionalism & the Rule of Law DUE Friday 8/29
8/29/14
Learning Target: Analyze the Articles of Confederation & identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Complete the Constitution Scavenger Hunt using the US Constitution
9/2/14
1. Finish Articles of Confederation Activity from Friday
2. US Constitution
Learning Target: Explain the
-Review the scavenger hunt completed over the weekend
Read & take notes on pp. 61-65 in Kommers, Finn & Jacobsohn_Judiical Power
9/3/14
Silent Debate Between Yates & Hamilton
Read & take notes on pp. 61-65 in Kommers, Finn & Jacobsohn_Judiical Power
9/5/14
Learning Target: Summarize Marbury v. Madison by writing a case brief as a class.
1. Writing a Case Brief
2. Ms. Muraca's Marked-up //Marbury v. Madison//
3. Class Case Brief of //Marbury v. Madison//
Read "Granting //Certiorari//" & be able to explain why some cases are granted cert while others aren't.
9/8/14
Learning Target: Apply the guidelines for granting certiorari to sample cases.
Read & take notes on Kommers, et al. pp. 65-69
9/9/14
Learning Target: Write a case brief with a peer on Scott v. Sanford.

9/10/14
Learning Target: Write a case brief with a peer on Scott v. Sanford.
Case Brief Rubric

9/12/14
Learning Target: Discuss the expansion of judicial power by citing and explaining Supreme Court decisions.
Read & take notes on Kommers, et al. pp. 69-76
9/15/14


9/16/14
Learning Target: Write a case brief with a peer on ex parte McCardle

9/17/14
Learning Target: Explain the basic tenets of the Originalist and the Living Constitution approaches to Constitutional Interpretation; List several factors that judges consider when interpreting the Constitution; and Apply knowledge about Constitutional Interpretation to critically evaluate Supreme Court
opinions.
Constitutional Interpretation
Scalia & Breyer Talk Constitutional Intrepretation
Read Kommers et al.'s section on your assigned interpretive method, research your method; complete your assigned slide in the Constitutional Interpretation Presentation
for MONDAY 9/22!

A decent resource for outside research is A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism. You can find many of the assigned methods on pp. 74-86.
9/19/14
Learning Target: Apply the basic tenets of the Originalist and the Living Constitution approaches to Constitutional Interpretation to cases.
Deciding Cases as an Originalist & Living Costitutionalist
The REAL decisions
Read Kommers et al.'s section on your assigned interpretive method, research your method; complete your assigned slide in the Constitutional Interpretation Presentation
for MONDAY 9/22!

A decent resource for outside research is A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism. You can find many of the assigned methods on pp. 74-86.
9/22/14
Learning Target: Teach your peers about alternate methods of constitutional interpretation.
Constitutional Interpretation Presentation

9/23/14
Learning Target: Interpret constitutional provisions, question the provisions meaning & classify arguments regarding the provision.
Interpreting the Recess Appointment Clause

9/24/14
Learning Target: Evaluate judicial activism by engaging in a class discussion after reading an article & answering questions about the article.
Judicial Activism & Restraint

9/30/14
Learning Target: Identify the questions/topics/resources needed to meet with success on the Unit 1 Assessment
Read & take notes on pp. 80-85 in Mason & Stephenson's "Congress & the President"

Unit 2: Separation of Powers & Federalism

10/1/14
Learning Target:
Research Schechter Poultry v. US (1935) & Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer (1952)
10/10/14
Learning Target: Evaluate when the president can & cannot claim executive privilege by reading excerpts from the SCOTUS opinions in U.S. v. Nixon and Clinton v. Jones.
United States v. Nixon
Read & take notes on pp. 88-92 in Mason & Stephenson's "Congress & the President"
10/14/14
Finish Friday's lesson
Read your assigned case in preparation for tomorrow's work period with your team members.
10/15/17
Learning Target: Prepare a power point presentation in which you brief your assigned case for you peers.
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004)
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006)
Boumediene v. Bush (2008)
Prepare a power point presentation in which you brief your assigned case for you peers.
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004)
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006)
Boumediene v. Bush (2008)
10/16/14
Learning Target: Deliver a presentation in which you brief your assigned case for you peers.
Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004)
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006)
Boumediene v. Bush (2008)
Read & take notes on pp. 255-261 in Kommers, Finn & Jacobsohn's "Federalism & State Regulation"
10/20/14
Learning Target: Develop an opinion concerning the case of McCulloch v. Maryland using the Constitution to anchor the decision's rationale.
McCulloch v. Maryland
Read & take notes on pp. 261-263 in Kommers, Finn & Jacobsohn's "Federalism & State Regulation"
10/21/14
Learning Target: Identify how Chief Justice Marshall defined the realtionship between the federal government and the states in McCulloch v. Maryland & explain the way in which he justified his decision.
McCulloch v. Maryland
Read and take notes Hall & Feldmeier pp. 163-165 4.5(b)


Read & complete Gibbons v. Ogden case
10/24/14
Review Gibbons v. Ogden homework
Read & take notes on Hall & Feldmeier pp.166-171
10/27/14
Learning Target: Trace the evolution of the interpretation of the Commerce Clause over time.
Commerce Cases
Wickard v. Filburn (1942)
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. U.S. (1964)
11/3/14
Health & Human Services v. Florida

11/6/14
HHS v. Florida - Government's Oral Argument

11/7/14
HHS v. Florida - Florida's Oral Argument

11/10/14
HHS v. Florida - NFIB's Oral Argument
Prepare for Socratic Seminar on Thursday
11/13/14
Writing a SCOTUS Opinion
Read & take notes on pp. 452-457 in "Freedom of Expression" by Mason & Stephenson

HHS v. Florida Opinion DUE to amuraca@npsct.org by Friday 11/21 @ 11:59 pm

Unit 3: The First Amendment

11/14/14
Learning Target: Identify the decisions in each case and begin to develop your own interpretation of the First Amendment's speech clause.
Early Free Speech Cases
HHS v. Florida Opinion DUE to amuraca@npsct.org by Friday 11/21 @ 11:59 pm
11/21/14
Learning Target: Identify when students' free speech rights are protected by jigsawing a series of cases.
Read & take notes on pp. 461-463 in "Freedom of Expression" by Mason & Stephenson
11/24/14
Identifying Disruptive Student Speech

11/25/14
Texas v. Johnson
Video

11/26/14
Learning Target: Determine when a group's right to freedom of expressive association can and cannot be infringed up by examing the decision in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000) and responding to questions embedded in the opinion.
Freedom of Asociation: An Introduction
Read & take notes on pp. 463-466 in "Freedom of Expression" by Mason & Stephenson
12/1/14
Learning Target: Identify the limits of free press as outlined in Near v. Minnesota, New York Times v. Sullivan, & New York Times v. United States
Finish NY TImes v. Sullivan
12/2/14
Learning Target: Identify the limits of free press as outlined in Near v. Minnesota, New York Times v. Sullivan, & New York Times v. United States
Freedom of Speech QUIZ Friday 12/5
12/4/14
Speech & Political Campaigns
Citizens United v. FEC
Freedom of Speech QUIZ Tomorrow!
12/5/14
Freedom of Speech QUIZ
Read & take notes on pp. 508-515 in Mason & Stephenson's "Religious Liberty"