What the Constitution Means & How to Interpret It

Introduction

Based on the chapter from ACS's publication, Keeping Faith with the Constitution by Pamela S. Karlan, Goodwin Liu and Christopher H. Schroeder, ACS has unveiled a curriculum on constitutional interpretation.

Below are resources for each session. They include free links to each chapter, primers and information on the guest lecturer. Audio recordings are also available with the materials.

The seminars last approximately 15 minutes each, with a subsequent 15-minute question-and-answer session with the guest lecturer.


The Curriculum

Chapter 1: "The Constitution's Vision and Values" | Chapter 2: "Judicial Interpretation of the Constitution" | Chapter 3: "Equality" | Chapter 4: "Promoting the General Welfare" | Chapter 5: "Separation of Powers" | Chapter 6: "Democracy" | Chapter 7: "Criminal Justice" | Chapter 8: "Liberty" | Chapter 9: "Progress and Possibilities"


Lesson 1: "The Constitution’s Vision and Values"

Guest Lecturer: Pamela S. Karlan; Visiting Professor of Law, Yale Law School; Kenneth and Harle Montgomery Professor of Public Interest Law and Co-Director Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, Stanford Law School

Course Materials:

Chapter 1 Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Chapter 1 Primer

Audio Recording

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Lesson 2: "Judicial Interpretation of the Constitution"

Guest Lecturer: William Marshall, William Rand Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law

Course Materials:

Chapter 2 Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Chapter 2 Primer

ACS Issue Brief: "The Framers' Constitution: Toward a Theory of Principled Constitutionalism" by Geoffrey Stone and William Marshall

Audio Recording

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Lesson 3: "Equality"

Guest Lecturer: Theodore M. Shaw; Professor of Professional Practice in Law, Columbia Law School; Of Counsel, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP; former director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF)

Course Materials:

Chapter 3 Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Chapter 3 Primer

Audio Recording

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Lesson 4: "Promoting the General Welfare"

Guest Lecturer: William Forbath, Lloyd M. Bentsen Chair in Law, The University of Texas at Austin School of Law

Course Materials:

Chapter 4 Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Chapter 4 Primer

"Social and Economic Rights in the American Grain," from The Constitution in 2020

Audio Recording

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Lesson 5: "Separation of Powers"

Guest Lecturer: Aziz Huq, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School

Course Materials:

Chapter 5 Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Chapter 5 Primer

Audio Recording

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Lesson 6: "Democracy"

Guest Lecturer: Daniel Tokaji, Professor of Law; Senior Fellow, Election Law, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University

Course Materials:

Chapter 6 Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Chapter 6 Primer

Audio Recording

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Lesson 7: "Criminal Justice"

Guest Lecturer: Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative; Professor of Clinical Law, New York University School of Law

Course Materials:

Chapter 7 Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Chapter 7 Primer

Audio Recording

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Lesson 8: "Liberty"

Guest Lecturer: Dawn Johnsen, Walter W. Foskett Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law, Indiana University

Course Materials:

Chapter 8 Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Chapter 8 Primer

"A Progressive Reproductive Rights Agenda for 2020," in The Constitution in 2020

Audio Recording

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Lesson 9: "Progress and Possibilities"

Guest Lecturer: Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor, The University of Chicago Law School

Course Materials:

Chapter 9 Keeping Faith with the Constitution

Chapter 9 Primer

ACS Issue Brief: "The Framers' Constitution: Toward a Theory of Principled Constitutionalism" by Geoffrey Stone and William Marshall

Audio Recording

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