Constitutional Law: Model Problems and Outstanding Answers

Constitutional Law: Model Problems and Outstanding Answers

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0199916268

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Constitutional law is one of the most engaging and yet challenging first year law classes. At the confluence of history, politics, legal theory, and judicial review, it requires students to learn a new framework for legal interpretation and thought unique from other areas of law.

For the first time, Oxford University Press equips students with an accessible guide to acing these challenging constitutional law exams. In Constitutional Law: Model Problems and Outstanding Answers, Kevin Saunders and Michael Lawrence help students demonstrate their knowledge of constitutional law in the structured and sophisticated manner that professors expect on law school exams. The book provides clear introductions on the fundamental topics in constitutional law, provides hypotheticals similar to those that students can expect to see on an exam, including multi-issue questions, and offers model answers to those hypotheticals. Professors Saunders and Lawrence then also coach students in how to evaluate their own work with a comprehensive self-analysis section.

Constitutional Law: Model Problems and Outstanding Answers prepares students by challenging them to use the law they learn in class while also explaining the best way to express sophisticated answers on law school exams.

Model Problems and Outstanding Answers is an innovative new series by Oxford University Press. Featuring topical introductions and clear fact patterns, each book contains exercises designed to help students develop methods to craft organized, relevant, and thoughtful responses to exam-style questions. These exercises show the student how to think like a lawyer. By guiding students to the most appropriate ways to apply their knowledge to new facts, the series offers meaningful and significant preparation for law school exams and bar-exam essays. Current titles in the series include Federal Income Taxation, Civil Procedure, and Criminal Law.

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celebrated as a secular holiday. If Christmas is celebrated by non-Christians, and the nativity scene is not the major focus and serves as a historical explanation, there is no violation of the Establishment Clause. Easter has not reached any secular status. It is celebrated only by Christians, so its inclusion is an explanation only of the religious holiday and not of any secular celebration. It is also important in this area to apply all three of the tests that have been employed by the Court.

will involve whether the redistricting fails to meet rational basis review or otherwise violates constitutional rights protected by, for example, the Equal Protection Clause (Davis v. Bandemer (1986), suggesting that partisan gerrymandering violates the equal protection principles of “one-person, one-vote” established in Reynolds v. Sims (1964)) or the First Amendment (Justice Kennedy, suggesting in his Vieth concurrence that a better basis for analyzing partisan gerrymandering cases might be the

Court’s jurisprudence over the years (and of your Constitutional Law class, in all likelihood), it is worth spending a sentence or two summarizing the history. Unless the question asks for more specific information, it is enough simply to comment that the Court has gone through various stages where it was much less deferential to Congress (pre-1937), much more deferential (1937–1995), and then again marginally less deferential (1995–present). The Court’s current Commerce Clause doctrine focuses

tax. All taxes, the Supreme Court has explained, are in a sense “regulatory,” so the Court will not become involved in trying to distinguish when a given tax is or is not too “regulatory” to qualify as a legitimate tax. Even during the height of the Lochner era, when the Court did not hesitate to strike down federal laws (and state laws too) as falling beyond Congress’s scope, the Court acknowledged that the taxing and spending power was different. As discussed in the sample essay, for example,

only to provide an objective discussion of the merits of Congress’s responses to Johnson’s suit. The question does not ask for the merits of her claim, so resist the temptation. Moreover, the question expressly says not to address Oblivion’s possible Tenth Amendment arguments. There is more than enough to discuss with the precise questions asked. This particular problem requires you to understand the nature of the Congress’s Fourteenth Amendment, section 5 power under the current U.S. Supreme

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