Con Law supplement (Brest)

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smithc2011
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Con Law supplement (Brest)

Postby smithc2011 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:53 pm

I know there are a million different threads about supplements, but my Con Law class is pretty non-traditional, very historical based (we're not reading marbury v. madison until the last day), and using Brest, Levinson, et al "Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking" for our casebook. Is there a particular hornbook that would be better suited for this type of class or this book?

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KG_CalGuy
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Re: Con Law supplement (Brest)

Postby KG_CalGuy » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:56 pm

Pull up a practice exam and see how much of your prof's historical emphasis is actually relevant to the exam. My teacher did the same thing (using a different casebook) and the fact of the matter is that the historical emphasis was largely irrelevant. I used the Chemerinsky hornbook and did very well on Con Law because previous exams showed that the exam would be much more focussed on doctrinal evolution than on historical context. For that purpose, Chemerinsky is, hands-down, the best you can find.

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smithc2011
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Re: Con Law supplement (Brest)

Postby smithc2011 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 7:55 pm

three basic types of questions seem pretty common:

1. (Fact pattern X, concerning, say, the commerce clause) ... How would the SC decide in 1820, 1830, 1850, 1870, 1900... So Chemerinsky is well suited for this type of question?
2. (grant of cert; potentially overrulling past case) You are Justice X's law clerk: Write a memo on how the case should be decided. ... I'm assuming no hornbook is going to help me much here?
3. Identify and discuss the significance of the following quotes (pulled from various court opinions)... Also looks to be more focused on doctrinal evolutions, so once again, Chemerinsky is well suited?




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