by Willa Cather
"Eric Hermannso's Soul"
Marcus Aurelius's Meditations
LibriVox recording of Benito Cereno:
The Project Gutenberg ebook:
Section 1. Before the Constitution
This class will discuss our need for a constitution and the history that preceded its
drafting. We will learn about differences between English and American
constitutionalism and influences from American antecedents to the Constitution such as
the Revolution and the failure of the Articles of Confederation. This class will explore
how the drafters sought to balance various concerns in the original Constitution and the
many compromises in it.
Section 2: Judicial Review
This class will address the Supreme Court’s authority to interpret and review the U.S. Constitution.
Section 3: Theories of Constitutional Interpretation
This class will explore approaches to interpreting the Constitution, especially originalism and living constitutionalism.
Section 4: Federalism
This class will explore separation of powers between national and state governments with emphasis on the federal Commerce Clause, implied legislative powers, and the dormant commerce clause.
Section 5: The Executive and Separation of PowersThis class will concern powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government and separation of powers among those branches. This class will focus in particular on the specific powers assigned to the executive branch and ways that branch has evolved over time.
Section 6: Safeguards of LibertyThis class begins a review of Constitutional amendments. We will learn about the protections for speech and religion, ways they have changed over time, and ways they apply to various circumstances. We will also explore the Establishment Clause and its meaning in today’s society.
Section 7: Safeguards of JusticeThis class addresses another group of important constitutional provisions: the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, all guaranteeing rights to individuals accused of committing crimes. These amendments protect us against unreasonable searches, ensure our right to remain silent in the face of police questioning, and allow us to demand the assistance of counsel and trial by jury. These rights are fundamental to our system of criminal justice. Then we will examine the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms, and incorporation.
Section 8: The Fifth Amendment
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
Section 9: Safeguards of Civil RightsThis class will 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 discrimination and abortion decisions derived from the due process clause. Finally, we will examine discrimination based on sexual orientation and the social progress of major civil rights movements in the United States.
Resources mentioned in class:
By F. F. Bruce
By Jack Weatherford
By Clay S. Jenkinson
John N. Oswalt
By William Faulkner
Faulkner's story "That Evening Sun"
Saint Louis Blues
Bessie Smith & Louis Armstrong version:
By Lisa Randall
More Resources Link
By David O. Stewart
(trans. Danny P. Jackson)
Discussion Notes and Questions:
Questions on Chapters 7 and 8 and Epilogue
Questions on Chapters 3 and 4 and The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Chapters 3 and 4
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