What is unique about the U.S. Constitution? How does the U.S. Constitution ‘map’ the unique structure of the Federal governme

Chapter 6 The Constitution

What is unique about the U.S. Constitution? How does the U.S. Constitution "map" the unique structure of the Federal government?

What do we mean when we refer to the "Division of Powers" or the "Separation of Powers"?

The U.S. Constitution both defines and "maps" the structure, function and powers granted and reserved by the Federal government.

The U.S. Constitution is supreme over all laws and federal law takes precedence over a conflicting state or local law.

The separate branches of government [executive, legislative and judicial] are separate and co-equal.

The Federal government is granted the power to regulate foreign commerce and interstate commerce.

While the original seven constitutional articles define and describe the structure and powers of the U.S. government, the later amendments addressed concerns regarding the limits of those powers.

Some highlights:

1st Amendment: religion and speech protections

2nd Amendment: the right to possess guns

4th Amendment: the right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure

5th Amendment: takings and eminent domain, right against self incrimination

6th Amendment: the right to jury trial, counsel

13th Amendment: anti-slavery

14th Amendment: due process of law and equal protection

Chapter 6 – Constitutional Law

Brief Snyder v. Phelps 131 S.Ct. 1207 (2011)

  • Read and study "Appendix I: Briefing and Legal Study Tips pp. 711-712"
  • Prepare a Case Brief of Snyder v. Phelps 131 S.Ct. 1207 (2011) case 6.1 on page 164
  • Mail your Case Brief as a .pdf attachment 

As you read Snyder v. Phelps consider the following: 

– What court decided this case?

– Who is writing this decision?

– What is the source for the rule(s) of law relied upon by the writer? What section(s) of the law are the focus of this decision?

– What is the larger meaning of this decision and how might this decision positively or negatively impact the society at large?

Complete all weekly Discussions assignments.

Post to Discussion Board one (1) webliography assignment from Chapter 6 

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