Constitutional Law

501. A study of the allocation of governmental authority and the limitations on that authority as defined by the United States Constitution. The course will deal with the problems of defining the scope of federal power, the relationship between the federal government and the states, the scope of state authority, and the rights of individuals with an emphasis on those rights guaranteed by the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution.

Required Reading Spring 2013:

Sullivan and Gunther, Constitutional Law, 17th Edition, 2010, Foundation Press, ISBN: 978-1-59941-752-3

Spring 2013 Syllabus

New Exam Review Material

(all new exam review material is also posted below under General Exam Review Material, Substantive Review Material or Sample Exam Review Questions and Answers)

Constitutional Law Course Review Spring 2013

Answers to Student Questions (last updated 5/7 at 9:30 a.m.)

Studying for and Taking the Constitutional Law Exam (revised 4/21 at 9 a.m.)

Equal Protection Review Question

Equal Protection Review Question Grading Sheet

Equal Protection/Due Process Review Question

Equal Protection/Due Process Review Question Grading Sheet

Equal Protection Review 2013


In connection with each reading assignment, there are questions which you should attempt to answer prior to class. These questions are listed by assignment number in a single document: Questions Before Class

2013 Additional Assigned Course Materials:

Steps In Constitutional Analysis

Johnson v. California

Premption Assignment

National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (the Affordable Care Act)

Maine v. Taylor

Camps Newfound/Owatonna, Inc. v. Town of Harrison

Baldwin v. Montana Fish & Game Commission (defining privileges and immunites under Article IV, Section 2)

McBurney v. Young

McDonald v. City of Chicago

Weaver v. Palmer Bros. Co.

Preemption 2014

Other Course Materials

Equal Protection Standards

Railway Express Ordinance

Due Process Hypotheticals

Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 (operative sections)

Federal Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act  of 2003 (entire statute)

Substantive Due Process Chart (with undue burden)

Substantive Due Process Chart (fundamental vs. nonfundamental rights)

Fragmented Decisions

Griswold v. Connecticut Chart of Opinions

Due Process Chart - Older Lochner Approach vs. Newer Deferential Approach

Dormant Commerce Clause vs. Privileges and Immunities Clause Quiz

Dormant Commerce Clause Hypotheticals

Lists of Privileges and Immunities

Privileges and Immunities Clauses

Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization of 2013 (Criminal Provision)

MBE Questions

Separation of Power Approaches

Chart Comparing Dormant Commerce Clause and Privileges & Immunities Clause

Privileges and Immunities Clause (Preliminary Hurdles and Standard of Review)

Articles of Confederation Article IV and U.S. Constitution Article IV

Categories of Dormant Commerce Clause Cases

Balancing Scale

Ti Plant

Dormant Commerce Clause Standards

New Jersey Law

ACA Oral Argument Excerpts

Preemption Hypotheticals

State Autonomy and Federal Spending Power Hypotheticals

Spending Power Test

Oklahoma Enabling Act

Commerce Power Quiz

Carjacking Question

Section 922(q)

Category Three Commerce Clause Test

Commerce Power Chart

Government Substantial Effects Arguments in Lopez

Channels and Instrumentalities of Interstate Commerce

Lopez Excerpt

Heart of Atlanta Motel

Ollie's Original Menu

Roscoe Filburn

Map of the United States

Texas/Louisiana Map

Gibbons Graphic

Johnson Hypotheticals

Johnson Standards

Marbury Constitutional Provisions

Marbury Conflicting Provisions

General Exam Review Material

Studying for and Taking the Constitutional Law Exam (revised 4/21 at 9 a.m.)

Improving Your Exam Performance

Information About the Constitutional Law Examination

Grading Sheets and Grading

Substantive Review Material

Constitutional Law Course Review Spring 2013

Review of Commerce Clause (power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce)

Review of Preemption

State Autonomy Review 2013

Dormant Commerce Clause Review 2013

Article IV Privileges and Immunities Clause Review 2013

Due Process Review

Equal Protection Review 2013

Supreme Court Watch

Excerpts from Prop 8 Argument

Excerpts from DOMA Argument

McBurney v. Young (
Issue: Whether, under the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV and the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, a state may preclude citizens of other states from enjoying the same right of access to public records that the state affords its own citizens.)

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (affirmative action in university admissions)

Excerpts From Fisher Oral Argument

United States v. Windsor (Defense of Marriage Act)

Windsor v. United States (2d Circuit, October 18, 2012) (striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act as a violation of Equal Protection) (see pages 24-34 of opinion for discussion of whether discrimination based on homosexuality is a suspect classification)

Hollingsworth v. Perry (equal protection challenge to Prop 8)

Other Recent Decisions

Ruling on New York City Soda Ban

Commonwealth v. McGowan (gun control) (Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court) (January 29, 2013)

Related Links:

United States Constitution

Federalist Papers

Link to Founding Documents


Scotus Wiki

Constitutional Law Prof Blog

Recent News Items

Scalia Calls Voting Rights Act "racial perferment," Says Thomas Led Him to the Right (Debra Cassens Weiss) (ABA Journal) (April 17, 2013)

Is Samuel Alito a Tenther? (Nan Aron) (Huffington Post) (November 27, 2012)

Radio Interview on Health Care Oral Argument  (Professor Harpaz Interviewed on The WHYN Morning Show) (March 28, 2012)

An Affirmative Action Case (Vikram Amar) ( (September 2, 2011)

Ideological Chasm Over Interpreting Constitution (Pew Research Center) (June  20, 2011)

The Death of Roe v. Wade (Dahlia LIthwick) (Slate) (April 19, 2011)

Supreme Court Games:

Take the Constitution Quiz on and test your Constitution I.Q.

Which Founder Are You?

Bill of Rights Golf

Who Wants to Marry a Founding Father?

Supreme Court Jigsaw

Oyez Baseball

Supreme Court Crossword Puzzle

Supreme Court Justice Game

U.S. Constitution Fun Zone