Lessons: Constitutional Law

This lesson can be used in a Family Law or Constitutional Law course, as preparation for class or as review for an exam on the topic of Abortion.

45 minutes
FAM26

Focusing on the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, this lesson gives a brief overview of the ways in which federal environmental and natural resources law can raise issues regarding the federal government's constitutional authority to regulate pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In particular, it looks at the possible limitations on the federal government's Commerce Clause authority as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1995 decision in United States v. Lopez and as a result of federalism and land use considerations.

This lesson consists of 12 questions. Students should have some familiarity with the federal Endangered Species Act and the federal Clean Water Act before beginning this lesson.

45-60 minutes
ENV16

This lesson discusses the role of federal preemption in the implementation of environmental law. Specifically, when do federal environmental and natural resources statutes preempt, or displace, state laws on similar subjects? When are states free to enact their own environmental protections? What is the relationship between federal environmental law and state torts?

This lesson consists of 15 questions and is intended to work both as a review for students who have already studied these issues and as introduction for students new to the concept of federal preemption in environmental law.

30-45 minutes
ENV21

This lesson is intended as an overview of Constitutional Law principles that are important in Family Law. It can be used at the beginning of the Family Law course as a refresher of Constitutional Law. It can also be used during the course to clarify general constitutional doctrine. This lesson is related to two other lessons regarding constitutional aspects of Family Law.

30 minutes
FAM12

This lesson is intended as an overview of Constitutional Rights that are important in Family Law. It can be used at the beginning of the Family Law course as a refresher, or during the course to clarify general doctrine, or at the end of the course as review.

This lesson has two related lessons. Constitutional Powers and Structures Review for Family Law is an overview of the "structures" rather than the "rights" portions of Constitutional Law. The Constitutional Aspects of Family Law is a more extensive lesson which examines the constitutional dimensions of specific areas such as marriage, divorce, parenting, procreation, contraception, sexuality, and other issues.

30- 45 minutes
FAM15

This lesson is an examination of the constitutional law aspects of Family Law. It builds upon lessons which provide a review of Constitutional Law in the Family Law context, but is much more detailed. It is intended as a supplement and review of constitutional doctrine as it occurs in specific Family Law areas such as marriage, divorce, parenting, procreation, sexuality, the rights of minors, and end-of life issues.

60 - 90 minutes
FAM19

Note: This lesson uses Flash and is unable to be viewed on a device that does not have the Flash player installed. Scoring for this lesson is also unavailable at this time.

This lesson provides a graphic exploration of the complex and ambiguous placement of the administrative process in our constitutional scheme and the relationship of that process to the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

1 hour
ADM05

This lesson provides a review of the constitutional requirements for standing in federal courts that citizen plaintiffs must fulfill in order to bring environmental citizen suits in the federal courts. These requirements apply to citizen suits brought pursuant to either citizen suit provisions in specific environmental or natural resources statutes, such as the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act, or the federal Administrative Procedure Act.

This lesson assumes that students have already studied standing in their Environmental Law or Administrative Law courses.

45 minutes
ENV18

This lesson covers Congress's authority to enact legislation pursuant to the Commerce Clause under the Supreme Court's rulings since 1995.

45 minutes
CST06

This lesson is designed to help students understand the term "search" as it is used under the Fourth Amendment. As we shall see, the term is a term of art which does not always correspond to popular conceptions or definitions of the term search. In this lesson, we explore the various facets and definitions of the term. This lesson is intended for students who have studied these issues in class and who would like to refine their knowledge.

45 minutes
CRMPRO02

Prof. Andersen has written a CALI lesson that provides students with extensive flowcharts designed to aid in learning the analytical framework necessary for understanding the Dormant Commerce Clause. In this podcast, Prof. Andersen gives an overview of the Dormant Commerce Clause, including a brief discussion of the June 2005 U.S. Supreme Court Gonzales decision, concerning states regulation of medical marijuana. He also offers tips for tackling this topic and explains the best way to use his related lesson.

Download:
6:28 minutes
CST01P

This lesson covers the historical evolution of Congress's authority to enact legislation pursuant to the Commerce Clause. Congress's contemporary Commerce Clause authority is covered in a separate lesson.

45 minutes
CST04

This exercise is designed for use in conjunction with any Federal Courts, Federal Jurisdiction, or Civil Rights course that covers the Eleventh Amendment. The exercise takes the student through attempts to bring a federal lawsuit to rectify substandard conditions at a home for the mentally ill.

0.5-1 hour
FEDC02

This lesson is designed to introduce you to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It is one of a number of lessons on the religion clauses (which include the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause), and the first of several lessons on Establishment Clause issues. It is intended for students who have studied these issues and wish to refine their knowledge.

45 minutes (25 minutes without the essay)
CST08

This lesson focuses on the presidential version of executive privilege. The lesson examines the justifications for the privilege, the requirements for its invocation, and judicial handling of that privilege. The lesson is intended for students who have studied this privilege in class, and who wish to further refine their understanding of the topic.

45 minutes (25 minutes without the essay)
ADM25

Note: This lesson uses Flash and is unable to be viewed on a device that does not have the Flash player installed. Scoring for this lesson is also unavailable at this time.

Many important state concerns are within the power of states to regulate (e.g., highway safety, waste disposal, environmental degradation) but state regulation of such concerns can have, in today's world, substantial impacts outside the state. This program diagrams the three constitutional clauses which govern the validity of state impacts of this kind: the so-called Dormant Commerce Clause, the Supremacy Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause.

A basic diagram or flow-chart is developed, after which, the program provides summaries of the principal doctrines and digests of several of the landmark cases. The program is not an extended textual treatment of the issues; instead, it is an effort to show in graphic form the components of the various doctrines and how they relate. From there, the student should be able to read other cases and texts with more understanding.

30 minutes
CST01

This lesson is designed to introduce students to the Fourth Amendment prohibition against "unreasonable searches and seizures." The goal is to provide students with an overview of the history of the Fourth Amendment, as well as an introduction to the warrant requirement and the concept of warrantless searches. The lesson is intended for students who have studied these issues in class, and wish to refine their knowledge.

40 minutes
CRMPRO01

This lesson focuses on the justifications for giving Freedom of Speech, as protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, a privileged and preferred position vis-à-vis other rights. It begins with an analysis of historical antecedents, and concludes with an analysis of the justifications themselves. The lesson is intended for students who have studied these issues in class and wish to refine and enhance their knowledge.

45 minutes
CST02

Note: This lesson uses Flash and is unable to be viewed on a device that does not have the Flash player installed. Scoring for this lesson is also unavailable at this time.

This lesson presents a schematic flowchart or algorithm illustrating one approach to determining whether due process applies to a particular agency hearing and, if it does, how one determines what procedures are required and the time at which they must be made available. It references several of the basic Supreme Court cases (Goldberg, Roth, Perry, Goss, Mathews, etc.).

45 minutes
ADM07

This is the third in a series of lessons on injunctions against speech. This lesson focuses on injunctions against invasions of privacy. The lesson is intended for students who have studied this material in class and who seek to refine their knowledge.

45 minutes
REM34

This lesson concerns Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137 (1803), a difficult and important case in Constitutional Law. It is contained in every Constitutional Law casebook and usually appears as one of the first cases. This lesson is designed to assist students to understand Marbury v. Madison and its relevance.

30-40 minutes
CST05

This lesson is designed to provide you with an overview of the religion clauses (which include both the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause) of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The lesson is intended for students who have studied these issues in class, and who wish to refine their knowledge of these clauses.

45 minutes (25 minutes without the essay)
CST07

The requirement of "probable cause" is an integral part of the Fourth Amendment. The Amendment specifically provides that a warrant may not issue except on probable cause. In addition, some exceptions to the warrant requirement necessitate a finding of probable cause. This lesson examines the concept of probable cause under the Fourth Amendment. This lesson is intended for students who have studied the concept of probable cause in class and wish to refine their knowledge and understanding.

25 minutes (45 minutes with the concluding essay)
CRMPRO03

This lesson introduces students to one of the constitutional issues that can arise as a result of environmental and natural resources regulation: regulatory takings under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It begins by giving students an overview of regulatory taking claims, their distinction from physical takings of private property, and some of the rules that apply in evaluating whether a regulatory taking has occurred. It then provides examples of how regulatory taking issues can arise in environmental and natural resources regulation, using the Clean Water Act's Section 404 program and the Endangered Species Act's Section 9 prohibitions as examples.

This lesson assumes that students have been exposed to regulatory taking issues in class but does not require detailed knowledge of regulatory taking law. This lesson also assumes that students are generally familiar with the federal Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act., although it also supplies the immediately necessary information about both statutes.

45 minutes
ENV17

This lesson introduces students to the concepts of ripeness and mootness. This lesson is geared to students who have studied these concepts in class (perhaps some time ago in their constitutional law classes) and wish to delve into the subject more deeply.

45 minutes
REM30

This lesson was removed at the end of 2013. It is outdated but is currently being revised.

This lesson covers the basic issues and arguments in same-sex marriage litigation. However, this area of the law is changing rapidly and the most recent outcomes of the arguments are not yet included.

This lesson addresses the legal ramifications of same-sex relationships, stresses comprehension of the arguments regarding the opposite sex requirement for marriage, and includes the various schemes states have used to address the controversies. Additionally, this lesson contains material relating to transgendered individuals who marry and international perspectives. It can be used as class preparation, supplement, or review.

This lesson has been updated to reflect changes in the law through April 15, 2009.

55 minutes
FAM05

A critical issue that arises in many administrative cases is the question of constitutional standing to litigate. At its most basic, standing is the requirement that a litigant must have a sufficient interest in the outcome of the litigation in order to be entitled to sue. This lesson provides an introduction to constitutional standing issues and provides the basis for more in depth review in subsequent lessons. The lesson is intended for students who have studied these issues in class and who wish to further refine their knowledge.

45 minutes (25 minutes without the essay)
ADM17

This lesson examines several status issues that arise in standing cases. In a prior lesson, we examined two contexts in which individuals might seek standing: taxpayer standing and citizen standing. In this lesson, we examine two other situations that may arise: the right of associations to sue on behalf of their members, and the rights of individuals to assert the interests of third parties. This lesson is intended for students who have studied these issues in class and who are seeking to further refine their knowledge and grasp of the area.

45 minutes (25 minutes without the essay)
ADM20

Article III of the United States Constitution requires a plaintiff to establish "standing" in order to sue in federal court. In addition to showing an injury-in fact, plaintiff must also show "causation" and "redressability." In other words, plaintiff must show that defendant is the "cause" of the injury, and that the injury will be redressable by a favorable judicial decision. In this lesson, we examine the requirement of causation (and, to a lesser extent, the requirement of redressability) in an attempt to determine what its means and how it is applied in particular cases. The lesson is intended for students who have studied this topic in class, and who wish to refine their knowledge of the topic.

45 minutes (25 minutes without the essay)
ADM26

This lesson covers the basic Constitutional doctrine of state action. This lesson can be used to prepare for class or as a review of Constitutional doctrine. This lesson consists of 25 scored questions and 2 unscored questions, divided into three substantive parts. The first part, State Action Basics and History, considers the basic principles and history of state action doctrine. The second part, United States Supreme Court State Action Cases, treats major cases generally covered in Constitutional Law courses, casebooks, and study materials. The third section, A State Action Hypothetical, examines a recent case decided by a circuit court.

45 minutes
CST03

The subject of "unlawful delegation" of powers is an important issue in both constitutional and administrative law. Not infrequently, Congress attempts to delegate its legislative authority to an administrative agency or to the courts. Sometimes, Congress attempts to delegate judicial power to administrative agencies. In this lesson, we explore the legality of such delegations. This lesson is intended for students who have studied these issues in class, and wish to refine their knowledge.

45 minutes (25 minutes without the essay)
ADM16

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