This course offers an introduction to the U.S. Constitution and landmark Supreme Court cases interpreting it. It explores the Constitution’s origins, its amendment over the years, and methods of constitutional interpretation. Topics include the nature and structure of the federal government, the powers of the federal government, and individual rights.
- Week 1 - The Constitution and Three Branches of Government
Classes 1, 2, and 3 discuss why we need a Constitution and the history that preceded its drafting. You will learn about the two conflicting lessons the founders learned from the Revolution and the failure of the Articles of Confederation: the national governme...
- Week 2 - Amendments and the First Amendment
This segment first explores constitutional amendments, including the Bill of Rights, and the Reconstruction and Progressive-era Amendments. Then, we will take a detailed look at one of the most important amendments: the First. We will learn about the constitut...
- Week 3 - Criminal Procedure and Federalism and Nationalism
We begin here by looking at another group of very important constitutional provisions: the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, which guarantee rights to individuals accused of committing crimes. These amendments protect us against unreasonable searches, ensur...
- Week 4 - The Fourteenth Amendment and Modern Controversies
The first three lessons consider the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment. We will begin by discussing race discrimination and the anti-classification and anti-subordination perspectives on equal protection. Next, we will discuss sex ...
Professor Kermit Roosevelt, III