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Constitutional Law I
Professor Philip Bobbitt
Autumn 2015
The class will meet as a whole for three hours each Monday and
Wednesday, from 10 am until 12 noon. Attendance is taken and if for
some reason a student is unable to attend a class, he or she should
notify the professor via email, stating the reason for absence.
There will be a twenty-four hour, open-book, open-note take-home
examination that will be discussed in greater detail later in the
semester. The grade on that exam will be 2/3 of the final grade, the
balance being marked on class participation.
Class Participation
Unless you indicate otherwise to the professor before class, any
student may be called on in any class. If a student does not wish to be
on call, he or she should either e-mail the professor at least one hour
before class or give him a note at the start of class. The use of laptops
in class is strictly prohibited.
Every student is expected to memorize three short passages drawn
from the canonical constitutional texts, the Declaration of
Independence, the opinion in McCulloch v. Maryland, and the
Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Office Hours
Office hours are by appointment only, and must be fixed no later than
24 hours in advance with Ms. Adefisayo Adetayo who can be reached
Using this Syllabus
You should prepare each weeks reading in advance of the Monday
session. As you read cases, you should think not only about the facts of
the case and the holding but you also should think about what
arguments were made.
The texts for the class are:
Brest, Levinson, et alia, Processes of Constitutional
Decisionmaking (BL)
Bobbitt, Constitutional Fate (CF)
Black, Impeachment (I)
Various materials that will be provided to you via Courseworks or
that can be accessed online

Class for the first week, Wednesday, Sept 9:
Introduction to the Course and to the Forms of Constitutional Argument
(the Standard Model):
CF 3-119; Constitutional Interpretation pp 11-22 (access via
The second week , Monday, Sept 14 and Wednesday, Sept. 16:
McCulloch v. Maryland, BL pp 29-63, 67-72
The third week, Monday, Sept 21 and Wednesday, Sept. 23:
Marbury v. Madison, BL pp 121-141; Jackson Veto Message, pp 77-85;
Constitutional Interpretation, pp 6-10 (access via Courseworks)
The fourth week, Wednesday, Sept. 30 and Friday, October 2 (makeup):
State Regulation of Commerce, Miln & Cooley, BL pp 223-240; Art. IV
pp 24-245; Dormant Commerce Clause, pp 906-912
The fifth week, Monday, Oct 5 and Wednesday Oct. 7:
Federal Power to Regulate Commerce, Gibbons v. Ogden, BL pp 189201; Champion v. Ames, Hammer v. Dagenhart pp 505-515; Taxing &
Spending pp 518-524; Schechter, Carter, Butler pp 613-621
The sixth week, Monday, October 12 and Wednesday, Oct. 14:
Federal Regulation of Commerce, Jones & Laughlin, BL pp 621-632;
Darby & Wickard, pp 634-640; Heart of Atlanta Motel & McClung pp
656-658; Lopez, pp 698-716; Morrison & Raisch, pp 720-724
The seventh week, Monday October 19 and Wednesday, Oct. 21:
Fourteenth Amendment, Slaughter House Cases, BL pp 372-385; Equal
Protection, Strauder, pp 405-409; Plessy, 427-434; Brown, pp 10991106; Charles Black, The Lawfulness of the Segregation Decisions, pp
439-441; Korematsu, pp 1132-1136
The eighth week, Monday, October 26 and Wednesday, October 28:
Equal Protection, Bakke, Fullilove, Wygand, & Croson BL pp 1234-1251;
Adarand, pp 1255-1259; Grutter, 1266-1287; Fisher, 1332-1335.
The ninth week, Monday, November 2 and Wednesday, November 4:
Due Process, Lochner, BL pp 483-489; Williamson, 584-591; Griswold,
1511-1523; Roe v. Wade, pp 1541-1557; Michael H., 1533-1537

Classes the week of November 9 are cancelled

The tenth week, Monday, November 16 and Wednesday, November 18:
Due Process, CF, pp 157-177; Glucksberg, BL pp 1719-1727; Obergefell
pp 82-126 (BL Supplement)
The eleventh week, Monday, November 23 (3 hours):
Executive Authority, Youngstown, BL pp 1007-1027; Youngstown
Revisited: Pages from the Book of Disquietude, (access via
The twelfth week, Monday, November 30 and Wednesday, December
War Powers, BL pp 1027-1036; War Powers: An Essay on John Hart
Elys War and Responsibility (access via Courseworks); War Power in
the Age of Global Terror (access via Courseworks); Black, Impeachment