How to study for constitutional law

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How to study for constitutional law

Postby a male human » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:20 pm

This is the most confusing class for me. It is not as elementally clear cut as civil procedure, which is a bunch of rules and exceptions; or criminal law, where the cases are consistent and produce more definite "black letter" law.

Con law seems more like a history class where the casebook talks about how constitutional law evolved over time, and how SCt are split on ruling on some issue. I don't get what I should be putting into my notes and outline and what to get out of the many, many cases. For example, I just read Plessy v. Ferguson for Con Law II. What I got out of it was that racially “equal but separate accommodations” on railroad cars do not constitute a A14 violation, and every exercise of the state’s police power must be "reasonable." OK, that's great, but this case is no longer good law in today's world because constitutional law changes. I especially don't see how to write a con law final if I can't IRAC it (without knowing what the R is). Am I supposed to put in a final that if we were in the 19th century (under Plessy), the 14th amendment would blah blah, and so the issue would resolve like this, but in modern days, it would come out like this? What's the point of discussing old law rather than present-day jurisdictional splits? What would an outline for a discussion of a typical con law issue spotter look like?

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Re: How to study for constitutional law

Postby morris248 » Sun Sep 04, 2011 10:36 am

Here is a website that may help you

Here are some past exams and answers

Then you may want to get
Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies, 4th Edition
By Chemerinsky. The third edition can be bought cheap and is probably sufficient
for Con Law I.


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