Political Science | American Constitutional Law I
Y304 | 20638 | Braman

The Constitution and the decisions of Supreme Court justices who
interpret it define the contours of government power in the United
States.  The precise scope and nature of that power, however, is not
always clear.  Legitimate questions arise about whether particular
governmental entities have the authority to undertake specific
actions.  Moreover, conflicts often arise between the three branches
and between national and state governments concerning appropriate
balance of power among different governing bodies. In this course we
will examine the constitutional powers of our national institutions:
the judicial, legislative, and executive branches.  We will also look
at how our constitutional structure limits state and national
government actors.  Finally, we will consider how some of the
specific tools the United States government has to address national
problems including the commerce power, have evolved over time through
Supreme Court decision making.  Y304 is NOT A PREREQUSITE required to
enroll in Y305 (Constitutional Law II).