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  • This Subject Area Index lists all CALI lessons covering Constitutional Law.
  • The Constitutional Law Outline allows you to search for terms of art that correspond to topics you are studying to find suggestions for related CALI Lessons.

Constitutional Law

Marbury v. Madison

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.

Overview on the Religion Clauses

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.

Probable Cause

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.

Regulatory Taking Issues in Environmental Law

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.

Ripeness and Mootness

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.

Same-sex relationships

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 It is outdated but is currently being revised.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.

Standing (Constitutional Issues) Introduction

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.

Standing (Specialized Issues)

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.

Standing: Causation

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.