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Constitutional Law (Spring-2017)
Registration opens February 27th.
In the wake of a transformative 2016 presidential election, there is no better time to study the United States Constitution. This course provides a brief primer on the Supreme Court and the US legal system, then explores our nation’s founding charter and the seminal cases interpreting it. Using Supreme Court opinions as our guide, we will focus on the Constitution’s basic structure and design, investigating the principles of judicial review, federalism, and separation of powers. We will begin with Chief Justice John Marshall’s foundational opinion in Marbury v. Madison, as we discuss the Supreme Court’s role in reviewing legislative enactments. Next, we will explore the ebb and flow of the commerce clause, and other aspects of legislative power. We will then discuss the executive branch’s role in foreign affairs, including the constitutional implications of the “War on Terror.” Finally, we will unravel the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, wading into some of the Court’s more controversial pronouncements on race and gender discrimination, abortion rights, and same-sex marriage. With the Supreme Court (and the nation) undergoing rapid and unpredictable changes, we will surely have ample fodder to explore, discuss, and debate the Constitution.
- Course sizes are limited.
You won't have 5,000 classmates. This course's enrollment is capped at 45 participants.
- Frequent interaction with the instructor.
You aren't expected to work through the material alone. Instructors will answer questions and interact with students on the discussion board and through weekly video meetings.
- Study with a vibrant peer group.
Stanford Continuing Studies courses attract thoughtful and engaged students who take courses for the love of learning. Students in each course will exchange ideas with one another through easy-to-use message boards as well as optional weekly real-time video conferences.
- Direct feedback from the instructor.
Instructors will review and offer feedback on assignment submissions. Students are not required to turn in assignments, but for those who do, their work is graded by the instructor.
- Courses offer the flexibility to participate on your own schedule.
Course work is completed on a weekly basis when you have the time. You can log in and participate in the class whenever it's convenient for you. If you can’t attend the weekly video meetings, the sessions are always recorded for you and your instructor is just an email away.
- This course is offered through Stanford Continuing Studies.
To learn more about the program, visit our About Us page. For more information on the online format, please visit the FAQ page.
Cody S. Harris, Partner, Keker Van Nest & Peters
Cody S. Harris clerked for Judge David S. Tatel on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and has served as a deputy district attorney in Santa Clara County. He received a JD from Stanford.