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ML: American Constitutional Law (Gerhardt)
Fall 2020   LAW 505-301  

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Meeting Times/Location
W 5:30PM - 8:15PM

Additional Information

Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Team Projects
Other Professional Skills: Reading cases, terminology in constitutional law, constitutional history, and understanding how the three branches of the federal government interact on questions of constitutional law.

25% Participation,
75% Exam,
Other (Class participation includes attendance; and participation daily in class, including final mock confirmation hearing at the end of the class.)

Short Answer,
Take Home,
Partial Open Book (The final exam will be a 3-hour take-home exam, which will be limited open book (you will be allowed to your class notes, class outline, and any of the materials assigned for the class).)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets online.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. I will make these recordings routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

- I have asked for volunteers in the class who are willing to take and share their notes on a regular basis with others who are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance.

- If you are absent, due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can ask for volunteers among your classmates to share their notes with you.

Masters in Law


This offering in the Master in Law curriculum, Introduction to American Constitutional Law, will cover landmark constitutional decisions and several contemporary disputes in constitutional law. Among the fundamental subjects to be covered are the origins of the American Constitution; the foundations and scope of judicial review; basic separation of powers; Congress' regulatory powers; executive power under the federal Constitution; and the basic civil liberties protected by the federal Constitution. The contemporary conflicts to be discussed will likely include state and federal regulatory power in a pandemic, how far the President may go in impeding congressional investigations of his administration, legal options for addressing police brutality, and First Amendment rights and limitations with respecting to protesting on a grand scale. JD, LLM, and LLCM students are not permitted to take this class. The grade in class will be based on class participation and the single final exam. Class attendance is required; and no mid-term examination will be given. Textbooks – All assigned materials will be available at no cost on the internet. Below is a tentative list of our assignments: TBA

Course Concentrations

Constitutional Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of constitutional law; Perform legal analysis in the context of constitutional law; Communicate effectively on topics related to constitutional law; Demonstrate an understanding of constitutional law affects other areas of law.