Constitutional Law

Washington University School of Law | 3 credits

This course will examine federalism issues under the Constitution, including judicial review, the commerce clause, separation of powers, and intergovernmental immunity. We will address fundamental questions such as the nature of a constitution, the foundations of judicial power, the forms of judicial review, the role of courts in different types of political systems, the institutional design of constitutional courts, and the evolution of constitutionalism on a global scale. We will pay particular attention to the development of the Fourteenth Amendment's liberty and equality guarantees, and discuss the appropriate roles of text, structure, history, and prudence in constitutional interpretation. In discussing these questions, we will examine how political and social change has influenced the resolution of constitutional disputes and how non-judicial actors, as well as courts, have constructed constitutional meanings.