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Constitutional Law and Judicial Decisionmaking

Level
Semester
Units
4
Section
1
Number
257
CCN
72091
Times
Tu 4-6P
Location
791 BARROWS
Course Description

Constitutional Law and Judicial Decisionmaking explores the ways in which constitutional interpretation and judicial decision-making shape and constrain political behavior, political thought and the development of political institutions in the United States – and how those in turn influence judicial choices. Readings include Supreme Court case decisions, but the primary focus is on both empirical and normative theories of constitutional decision-making, and the role judges and court decisions play in constitutional and political development. Particular topics covered include the Court’s role in defining and maintaining the scope of national power within a federal system; in shaping property rights and economic liberties; in interpreting and implementing rights to equal protection; the due process revolution; the development of and politics concerning rights to personal autonomy; and arguments about group rights. The course also addresses the national separation of powers with a particular emphasis on the Court’s role in disputes concerning foreign policy, emergency and war powers.