downing wrote:Are there anything historical facts I should be aware of before entering my first Constitutional Law course? E.g. The names of all the US presidents and each president's number on the timeline.
Are you taking Con Law during your first semester? We didn't have it until the spring. Anyway, the short answer to your question is no- I don't think it would be helpful to, for instance, memorize all of the presidents.
It might be pretty useful to have a basic grasp of U.S. history- even just knowing the sequence of major historical eras (notably the Revolution, Civil War, WWI, Depression, WWII, Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam, War on Terror) and having a basic grasp of the issues our country faced during those periods.
I don't mean to suggest that you spend the rest of your summer delving into great historical tomes- A History Channel-level of understanding will be more than sufficient for you to do well in Con Law.
It would be even more helpful to build up a good understanding of the way our government works; particularly the interplay between the three branches. Most of the Constitution is devoted to outlining the special characteristics (and, implicitly, the differences) between the three branches of government, and you'll spend plenty of time in Con Law discussing the borders between the separation of powers. Another major topic in that class will be the authority conflicts between the Federal and State governments, and also between separate states.
In my opinion the portion of Con Law class that was devoted to the bill of rights and subsequent Amendments was much easier and more fun than discussing Articles I-III, but I if I had boned up on issues like Federalism & Separation of Powers I might have had more fun overall.