Balkin– Con Law Fall 2017 Syllabus

Constitutional Law

Professor Jack M. Balkin

Yale Law School


Unless otherwise noted, all page references are to drafts of Brest, Levinson, Balkin, Amar and Siegel, Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (7th ed. 2018), which are available on Canvas.

Page numbers are denoted by the chapter number followed by the page number: Page 1.15 is chapter 1, page 15. Supplemental Materials on Canvas are noted as “Supplemental Materials.”

1. Introduction: Interpreting the Constitution (8/28/2017)

  • The Constitution of the United States, pp. C.1-C.18
  • Note on the First Bank of the United States, pp. 1.1-1.2
  • Note on the Second Bank, pp. 1.12-1.13
  • McCulloch v. Maryland and Notes, pp. 1.14-1.28, 1.42-1.50
  • Note on Constitutional Interpretation, pp. 1.31-1.38
  • Note on the Louisiana Purchase, pp. 2.74-2.77

2. Constitutional Interpreters I (8/29/2017)

A. Judicial Review

  • Note on Judicial Review before Marbury, pp. 2.25-2.28
  • The Election of 1800 and Notes, pp. 2.28-2.31
  • Note on Political Early Struggles over the Federal Judiciary, pp. 2.31-2.34
  • Stuart v. Laird and Notes, pp. 2.34-2.36
  • Marbury v. Madison and Notes, pp. 2.36-2.58
  • Theories of Judicial Review, pp. 2.63-2.74 (note Martin v. Hunter’s Lessee, pp. 2.65-2.66)
  • Notes on Jurisdiction Stripping, Standing and Political Questions, pp. 2.58-2.63

B. What if the President disagrees with the Court about the meaning of the Constitution?

  • Andrew Jackson’s Veto Message and Notes, pp. 1.52-1.58
  • Note on Presidential Authority, pp. 1.58-1.59
  • Attorney General Holder letter on the Defense of Marriage Act and Notes 1-2, pp. 9.192-9.196

3. Constitutional Interpreters II (9/05/2017)

A. Nullification and the early debate over freedom of expression

  • Notes on the Sedition Act of 1798, pp. 2.7-2.16
  • The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and the Doctrine of Nullification, pp. 2.16-2.20

B. “Commerce among the several states” and the “General Welfare”

  • Gibbons v. Ogden and Notes, pp. 2.108-2.122
  • Notes on The General Welfare, Disaster Relief, and Internal Improvements, 2.130-2.138
  • Note on Interstate Federalism and the National Economy, pp. 6.183-6.189

4. The Jacksonian Era and Slavery (9/08/2017  at 1:00pm)

  • Note on the Natural Law Tradition and Calder v. Bull, pp. 2.86-2.94 (Note particularly Barron v. City of Baltimore, p. 2.92)
  • Note on Slavery, p. 3.30
  • Notes and Prigg v. Pennsylvania, pp. 3.35-3.48
  • Dred Scott v. Sandford and Notes, pp. 3.48-3.75
  • Frederick Douglass, The Constitution of the United States: Is it Pro-Slavery or Anti-Slavery? and Notes, pp. 3.75-3.79
  • Notes on Secession, pp. 3.83-3.93
  • Note on the Confederate Constitution, pp. 3.93-3.95

5. The Civil War and the War Power (9/11/2017)

  • The Prize Cases, pp. 3.96-3.100
  • Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer and Notes, pp. 6.286-6.308
  • Note on the Power to Wage War, pp. 6.308-6.317
  • Note on The War Against ISIL, Supplemental Materials (on canvas)
  • Lincoln and the Suspension of Habeas Corpus, pp. 3.100-3.104
  • Note on the Emancipation Proclamation, pp. 3.104-3.109
  • Note on Reverence for Law, pp. 3.109-3.112

6. Reconstruction and Reaction I– Adoption of the Reconstruction Amendments  (9/15/2017 at 2:00pm)

  • The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, pp. C.13-C.14
  • History of the Adoption of the Reconstruction Amendments, pp. 4.1-4.8
  • Senator Howard’s Speech on the Fourteenth Amendment and Notes, pp. 4.8-4.18
  • Note on The Unusual Procedural History of the Fourteenth Amendment, pp. 4.18-4.27
  • Note on The Fifteenth Amendment, pp. 4.27-4.28
  • The Slaughterhouse Cases and Notes, pp. 4.30-4.48
  • United States v. Cruikshank and Notes, pp. 4.48-4.49
  • Notes on Birthright Citizenship, pp. 4.59-4.64

7. Reconstruction and Reaction II–The Privileges and Immunities of National Citizenship (9/18/2017)

  • Women’s Citizenship in the Antebellum Era, pp. 2.103-2.108
  • Bradwell v. Illinois and Notes, pp. 4.49-4.52
  • Note on The New Departure and Minor v. Happersett, pp. 4.52-4.59
  • Strauder v. West Virginia and Notes, pp. 4.64-4.71
  • The Civil Rights Cases and Notes, pp. 4.71-4.85
  • Notes on the meaning of “slavery,” pp. 4.157-4.159

8. Reconstruction and Reaction III– The Reconstruction Amendments and Race (9/19/2017)

  • Plessy v. Ferguson and Notes, pp. 4.85-4.100
  • Charles Black, the Lawfulness of the Segregation Decisions, pp. 4.100-4.101
  • Note on The Spirit of Plessy and Giles v. Harris, pp. 4.101-4.105

9. The Lochner Era (9/25/2017)

A. Police Powers Jurisprudence

  • Notes on the Rise of Due Process Protection Against State Economic Regulation, pp. 4.130-4.134
  • Note on the Application of the Bill of Rights to the States, pp. 4.134-4.138
  • Lochner v. State of New York and Notes, pp. 4.138-4.144
  • Notes on the Jurisprudence of the Lochner Era, pp. 4.144-4.152

B. The Decline of Police Powers Jurisprudence

  • Nebbia v. New York and Notes, pp. 5.1-5.3
  • Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell and Notes, pp. 5.3-5.13
  • Notes and West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, pp. 5.13-5.15

10. The New Deal and the Emergence of the Modern Paradigm of Judicial Scrutiny (9/26/2017)

  • U.S. v. Carolene Products Co. and Notes, pp. 5.15-5.22
  • Williamson v. Lee Optical Co. and Notes, pp. 5.22-5.30
  • Note on Constitutional Modernity, pp. PartII.1-2
  • Note on Incorporation of the Bill of Rights Against the States, PartII.2-10

11. The New Deal Struggle over National Power and the Emergence of the Modern Regulatory State (10/02/2017, 10/03/2017)

A. Dual Federalism

  • Hammer v. Dagenhart and Notes, pp. 4.166-4.174
  • Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. and Notes, pp. 4.174-4.177

B. The New Deal

  • Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States and Notes, pp. 5.54-5.55
  • Carter v. Carter Coal Co. and Notes, pp. 5.55-5.60
  • United States v. Butler and Notes, pp. 5.60-5.64

C. The Revolution of 1937

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat on the Court Packing Plan, pp. 5.65-5.69
  • NLRB v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp. and Notes, pp. 5.69-5.71
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, Speech on Constitution Day, pp. 5.71-5.73
  • United States v. Darby and Notes, pp. 5.73-5.77
  • Wickard v. Filburn and Notes, pp. 5.77-5.79
  • Note on Constitutional Revolution, pp. 5.79-5.81
  • Notes on the Taxing and Spending Powers, pp. 5.81-5.89

12. The Warren Court and the Civil Rights Movement (10/10/2017)

  • Notes on The Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, pp. 5.89-5.95
  • Note on Congressional Power to Pass the Civil Rights Bill, pp. 5.95-5.97
  • Heart of Atlanta Motel and Katzenbach v. McClung, pp. 5.97-5.101
  • Note on the Reconstruction Power in the Civil Rights Era, pp. 5.101-5.103
  • Note on the Voting Rights Act of 1965, pp. 5.103-5.108
  • Notes and South Carolina v. Katzenbach, pp. 5.108-5.112
  • Katzenbach v. Morgan and Notes, pp. 5.112-5.120
  • Jones v. Alfred Mayer Co. and Notes, pp. 5.120-5.123

13. The Contemporary Debate over National Power I (10/16/2017)

A. The Commerce Power

  • Introduction, pp. 6.1-6.2
  • United States v. Lopez and Notes, pp. 6.2-6.27 (note also U.S. v. Morrison, pp. 6.21-6.23, and Gonzales v. Raich, pp. 6.23-6.26)
  • NFIB v. Sebelius and Notes, pp. 6.27-6.41
  • United States v. Comstock, pp. 6.41-6.46

B. The Taxing Power

  • NFIB v. Sebelius and Notes, pp. 6.46-6.55

C. The Spending Power

  • Note on the Spending Clause and South Dakota v. Dole, pp. 6.55-6.57
  • NFIB v. Sebelius and Notes, pp. 6.57-6.70

14. The Contemporary Debate over National Power II (10/17/2017)

A. Implied Limits on Federal Regulation of the States

  • New York v. United States and Notes, pp. 6.142-6.158
  • Printz v. United States and Notes 1-6, pp. 6.158-6.171
  • Note on Cooperative (and Uncooperative) Federalism, pp. 6.177-6.182
  • Hans v. Louisiana and Notes, pp. 4.183-4.185
  • Note on State Sovereign Immunity, pp. 6.171-6.177

B. Congressional Power to Enforce the Civil War Amendments

  • City of Boerne v. Flores and Notes, pp. 6.74-6.90
  • United States v. Morrison, pp. 6.90-6.96
  • Garrett v. Alabama, pp. 6.96-6.103
  • Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, pp. 6.103-6.128

15. The Contemporary Debate over National Power III (10/23/2017)

A. The Treaty Power

  • Missouri v. Holland and Notes, pp. 4.180-4.183
  • Bond v. United States, pp. 6.70-6.74

B. Presidential Power

  • NLRB v. Noel Canning , pp. 6.252-6.261
  • Materials TBD

16. The Modern Debate over Racial Equality (10/24/2016)

A. Brown and Its Legacy

  • Notes on the Background to the School Desegregation Case, pp. 7.1-7.7
  • Brown v. Board of Education, Bolling v. Sharpe, and Notes, pp. 7.7-7.14
  • The Southern Manifesto and Notes, pp. 7.15-7.17
  • Brown and the Original Understanding, pp. 7.17-7.23
  • Four Decades of School Desegregation, pp. 7.23-7.38 (skim)
  • Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 and Notes, pp. 7.177-7.208

17. The Antidiscrimination Principle (10/30/2017)

A. Anticlassification and Antisubordination

  • Korematsu v. United States and Notes, pp. 7.39-7.45
  • Loving v. Virginia and Notes, pp. 7.45-7.59

B. The Reach of the Suspect Classification Doctrine

  • Johnson v. California and Notes, pp. 7.59-7.60
  • Note on Child Custody and Placement Policies, pp. 7.60-7.62
  • Note on Government Collection and Use of Racial Data, pp. 7.62-7.65
  • Note on Four Concepts of Race, pp. 7.65-7.67

18. What Constitutes Discrimination “based on” Race? (10/31/2017)

A. Discriminatory Intention

B. Race and the Criminal Process

  • United States v. Clary and Notes, pp. 7.101-7.104
  • McCleskey v. Kemp and Notes, pp. 7.104-7.111
  • Brown v. Oneonta and Notes, pp. 7.111-7.114
  • Racial Profiling and the Equal Protection Clause, pp. 7.114-7.117

19. Affirmative Action (11/06/2017)

  • Notes and Bakke v. Regents of the University of California, pp. 7.117-7.127
  • Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co., and Notes, pp. 7.127-7.142
  • Adarand Constructors v. Pena and Notes, pp. 7.142-7.144
  • Note on Affirmative Action and the Original Understanding, pp. 7.144-7.150
  • Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger, pp. 7.150-7.177
  • Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (Fisher II), pp. 7.208-7.219

20. Gender Classifications and Gender Equality (11/07/2017)

  • Introduction, pp. 8.1-8.9
  • Frontiero v. Richardson and Notes, pp. 8.9-8.18
  • Note on the Equal Rights Amendment, pp. 8.18-8.26
  • Cases and Notes on Intermediate Scrutiny, pp. 8.28-8.34
  • United States v. Virginia and Notes, pp. 8.42-8.60
  • Personnel Administrator of Massachusetts v. Feeney and Notes, pp. 8.81-8.90
  • Geduldig v. Aiello and Notes, pp. 8.91-8.93
  • Note on Pregnancy as a Justification for Sex-Differentiated Treatment of Men and Women, pp. 8.69-8.72
  • Doe 1 v. Trump (on canvas)

21. Equal Protection, Alienage, and Fundamental Rights (11/13/2017, 11/14/2017)

A. Alienage

  • Cases and Notes on Alienage and the Equal Protection Clause, pp. 7.220-7.241
  • The Travel Ban Cases, Supplemental Materials (on canvas)(read the discussion notes only)
  • Hawaii v. Trump TRO (10-17-2017 opinion)(on canvas)
  • Intl Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump TRO (10-17-2017)(on canvas)

B. Other Suspect Classifications

  • Other Suspect Bases of Classification, pp. 8.116-8.120
  • Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Center and Notes, pp. 8.120-8.132

C. Equal Protection and Fundamental Rights

  • Notes and Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, pp. 10.2-10.9
  • Note on Protecting the Poor Through the Fourteenth Amendment, pp. 10.9-10.13
  • Dandridge v. Williams and Notes, pp. 10.13-10.21
  • San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez and Notes, pp. 10.21-10.35
  • Note on the Enforceability of Positive Rights, pp. 10.41-10.48

22. Modern Substantive Due Process: “Privacy,” Sexual Autonomy or Tradition? (11/20/2017)

  • Historical Roots of Fundamental Rights Adjudication, pp. 9.1-9.7
  • Griswold v. Connecticut and Notes, pp. 9.7-9.28
  • Note on The Reach of Griswold, pp. 9.28-9.30
  • Note on Tradition as a Source of Fundamental Rights, pp. 9.30-9.39
  • Roe v. Wade and Notes, pp. 9.39-9.55
  • Note: Did Roe Cause the Abortion Conflict?, pp. 9.55-9.58
  • Abortion and the Equal Protection Clause, pp. 9.58-9.68

23. Abortion and Gender Discrimination (11/27/2017)

  • Note on Decisions After Roe, pp. 9.68-9.75
  • Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey and Notes, pp. 9.75-9.111
  • Gonzales v. Carhart and Notes, pp. 9.111-9.119
  • Note on Absolute and Incremental Restrictions on Abortion, pp. 9.119-9.124
  • Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, pp. 9.124-9.140

24. Sexual Orientation– Due Process or Equal Protection? (11/28/2017)

  • Introduction, pp. 9.140-9.142
  • Romer v. Evans and Notes, pp. 9.154-9.165
  • Lawrence v. Texas and Notes, pp. 9.165-9.187
  • Note on Liberty, Equality, and Lawrence, pp. 9.187-9.191
  • Note on Sexual Orientation, Equal Protection, and Heightened Scrutiny, pp. 9.191-9.198
  • Note on Same Sex Marriage and United States v. Windsor, pp. 9.198-9.206
  • Obergefell v. Hodges, pp. 9.206-9.238
  • Note on Backlash and Social Movements, pp. 9.238-9.240

25. The Second Amendment and Constitutional Change (12/04/2017)

  • District of Columbia v. Heller and Notes, pp. 9.245-9.282