Categories: International and Comparative Law Constitutional Law Legal History

4th, 5th, 6th Amendments

Course Page for Fall 2017 - Berghahn, Marcus

This class will require extensive case reading. Your grade will be based on participation, including leading the class, and a series of written submissions, including a motion and a post-hearing brief.

Student Learning Outcomes:
The cases we will read and discuss cover many, but
not all, important issues arising from the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution at its Wisconsin counterpart.

Students will learn to identify relevant legal issues, and understand the policy, historical and constitutional dimensions of the cases.

Students will also gain practical experience by drafting pleadings in criminal cases that raise constitutional issues, and will be provided with feedback on their written submissions.

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Comparative Constitution-Making (history, theory & practice)

Course Page for Fall 2021 - Klug, Heinz

Thomas Jefferson argued that each generation has the right to govern itself and thus constitutions should last for no longer than nineteen years. A recent academic study found that in fact the average life of constitutions across the globe is around nineteen years. While the U.S. Constitution is of much greater vintage, State constitutions have indeed been rewritten more frequently. When one takes constitutional amendments into consideration, there is a much greater degree of constitutional change then what we normally assume. The last two decades have produced many new constitutions and a variety of constitution-making processes around the globe, often with direct involvement by U.S. lawyers serving as advisors to different parties. Furthermore, drafting constitutions, whether for clubs, corporations or communities is more ubiquitous than what we often assume. Students in this course will both explore the theory and practice of constitution-making as well as engage in a semester long simulation in which the class will be divided into different groups who will represent different specified interests. Based on a simulated state-of-affairs they will negotiate and produce their own draft constitution over the course of the semester. The class will meet for two 80-minute classes per week with the first class discussing the theory and history of different constitution-making experiences both in the United States and from a comparative perspective. The second class of each week will be devoted to the simulation, in which the groups will both work together and negotiate with one another based on short written position papers and presentations each group will make related to the different constitutional issues that will be discussed and negotiated in class. The final grade will be based both on the position papers as well as a long paper on any aspect of constitution-making a student chooses to focus on.

Europe & the US

Course Page for Fall 2019 - Desai, Anuj, Hailbronner , Michaela, Marauhn, Thilo

This seminar provides University of Wisconsin students with a unique opportunity to learn about European and German constitutional law from two of Europe’s most renowned public-law scholars, Professor Michaela Hailbronner and Professor Thilo Marauhn. The course will look at European public law and the constitutional system in the Federal Republic of Germany. Throughout the course, we will be thinking about the material with a comparative lens which will help us better understand U.S. constitutional law. The course will have three sections: (1) In the first three weeks, Professor Marauhn will lead the course as we learn about the history, politics, and legal structure of European public law. (2) In the next three weeks, Professor Hailbronner will lead the course as we focus on the German “Basic Law” and look at how the German Constitutional Court has approached several issues, including same-sex marriage and abortion. [All readings are in English.] (3) For the remainder of the course, students will research and write a major research paper on a comparative constitutional law topic of their choice, working with Professor Desai.

This course meets the first seven weeks of the term only.

First Amendment

Course Page for Spring 2020 - Desai, Anuj

This course covers the basics of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It is a problem-oriented course: most class periods will involve students acting as lawyers arguing specific First Amendment problems in light of the case law and legal principles and policies. Con Law I is required.

This course satisfies the Con Law II requirement.

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Originalism & Its Critics

Course Page for Fall 2019 - Schwartz, David

This advanced constitutional law seminar explores the theory of constitutional interpretation known as “Originalism” – a family of theories unified around the core idea that proper constitutional interpretation must adhere to the Constitution’s original meaning. We will read and discuss various leading accounts of originalism by its proponents and its critics, including both theoretical discussions of originalism and its application to particular interpretive problems and constitutional debates.

The seminar is intended to be a joint, collaborative inquiry with the professor acting as a guide through the course material and issues, in contrast to a traditional lecture course in which the professor has fully digested and synthesized the subject matter. This means that seminar participants should plan to take an active role in all discussions and to lead one hour of class discussion during the semester. In addition to individual papers (described below), seminar members will contribute to a collaborative wiki and analytical bibliography, in which we compile the various arguments, objections, and replies to the various tenets and elements of the various versions of originalism, cataloguing and organizing the articles we read. Students will be expected to do some independent reading in addition to assigned readings.

Enrollment limited to 15 students.
Students must have completed, or be contemporaneously enrolled in, Constitutional Law I or II.
No pass-fail allowed

Course Requirements:
You will have the option to elect a “research paper track” or a “short paper track”:

“Research paper track” option:
(Required for students wanting to meet upper level LRW requirement)
1: Prepare for and actively participate in the discussion or activity in each class meeting;
2: Lead class discussion (presentation on reading) 1 time during the semester;
3: Write 3 article abstracts (80-word summary of a reading plus 5-10 keywords);
4: Write research paper (15 or more pp; 20 pages required for LRW requirement)(must submit draft and final versions).

“Short paper track” option:
1: Prepare for and actively participate in the discussion or activity in each class meeting;
2: Lead class discussion (presentation on reading) 1 time during the semester;
3: Write 3 article abstracts (80-word summary of a reading plus 5-10 keywords);
4: Write 2 short papers (3-5 pp each).

Politics & Equality

Course Page for Fall 2020 - Greene, Linda

Topics reflect interests of instructor and students.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor

Race, Class & Democratic Legitimacy

Course Page for Fall 2021 - Coleman, Franciska

Race, Class and Democratic Legitimacy.

This course will: juxtapose political theories of republicanism and democratic citizenship with U.S. Constitutional entitlements to participation, representation and minimum responsiveness; explore the gap between theory, law, and practice for those who are disadvantaged by race and class; examine the efforts, successes, and failures of the Civil Rights Movement, Occupy Wallstreet Movement and Black Lives Matter Movement in closing the gap between theory, law and practice.

WI Constitution and Government

Course Page for Spring 2018 - Monette, Richard

This course will be an exercise in ‘constitutionalism’. The course will address not only court opinions interpreting the State constitution, but will spend significant time with the document itself. We will cover the history of the document from its initial drafting through amendment exercises, including currently proposed amendments. The class will actually read the State Constitution and discuss its historical context, overall logic, and meaning: i.e., is this document one of restricted, expressly enumerated powers; or is it a wholesale grant of plenary authority (or power) to the government institutions it establishes? We will do a textual analysis particularly focusing on the relationships between and among various Articles, sections, and provisions. While we all have learned the importance of the basic ‘separation of powers’ between legislative, executive, and judicial functions, this course will teach that, as important as it is to separate powers in government, perhaps it is equally if not even more important to separate powers from government. As a result we will study the relationship(s) between the constitution and the ‘liberty sphere’ where the citizenry, property, and societal institutions reside (i.e., corporations, unions, families, marriages, religions, churches, political parties, etc.)

The course will focus on certain constitutional provisions and developments unique or peculiar to our State’s constitution, including legislative committees playing a participant role in the executive or administrative process even after enactment of a law; legislators having standing to file suit; the idea of the ‘constitutional office’; the ever-looming ‘partial-veto’; the lengthy provisions on non-governmental social issues du jour – i.e., gaming, the Public Trust Doctrine, anti-gay marriage, as well as other hot-button issues today: redistricting, selection of judges, open meetings, resurrecting a meaningful State Bill of Rights, and the constitutional amendment process. Additional readings may include a book by Professor Dinan on State constitutions generally as well as several law review articles on the Wisconsin Constitution.

The course, however, will not be all constitutional theory. We will study how law is made is Wisconsin. We will study the structure and processes of the Wisconsin court system. We will look at administrative processes in general including, for example, our contested rule-making requirements. Several guest speakers will be invited to present on their respective areas of government practice or expertise.

The course will be offered for 2 or 3 credit option. Both the 2 and 3-credit requirements will include one two hour class session per week and a two-hour final exam. The 3-credit requirement will add a paper from 5 to 7 (10-15 double-spaced) page paper.

WI Constitution, Law & Society

Course Page for Spring 2021 - Monette, Richard

This course will be an exercise in ‘constitutionalism’. The course will address not only court opinions interpreting the State constitution, but will spend significant time with the document itself. We will cover the history of the document from its initial drafting through amendment exercises, including currently proposed amendments. The class will actually read the State Constitution and discuss its historical context, overall logic, and meaning: i.e., is this document one of restricted, expressly enumerated powers; or is it a wholesale grant of plenary authority (or power) to the government institutions it establishes? We will do a textual analysis particularly focusing on the relationships between and among various Articles, sections, and provisions. While we all have learned the importance of the basic ‘separation of powers’ between legislative, executive, and judicial functions, this course will teach that, as important as it is to separate powers in government, perhaps it is equally if not even more important to separate powers from government. As a result we will study the relationship(s) between the constitution and the ‘liberty sphere’ where the citizenry, property, and societal institutions reside (i.e., corporations, unions, families, marriages, religions, churches, political parties, etc.)

The course will focus on certain constitutional provisions and developments unique or peculiar to our State’s constitution, including legislative committees playing a participant role in the executive or administrative process even after enactment of a law; legislators having standing to file suit; the idea of the ‘constitutional office’; the ever-looming ‘partial-veto’; the lengthy provisions on non-governmental social issues du jour – i.e., gaming, the Public Trust Doctrine, anti-gay marriage, as well as other hot-button issues today: redistricting, selection of judges, open meetings, resurrecting a meaningful State Bill of Rights, and the constitutional amendment process. Additional readings may include a book by Professor Dinan on State constitutions generally as well as several law review articles on the Wisconsin Constitution.

The course, however, will not be all constitutional theory. We will study how law is made is Wisconsin. We will study the structure and processes of the Wisconsin court system. We will look at administrative processes in general including, for example, our contested rule-making requirements. Several guest speakers will be invited to present on their respective areas of government practice or expertise.

The course will be offered for 2 or 3 credit option. Both the 2 and 3-credit requirements will include one two hour class session per week and a two-hour final exam. The 3-credit requirement will add a paper from 5 to 7 (10-15 double-spaced) page paper.

Recent Offerings of this course by this instructor