MtheG wrote:This class of 2Ls did not have Law for con law. I had Richards. With that said, the Chemerinsky supplement is always something you should use when reviewing. Unless the professor explicitly contradicts or attacks Chemerinsky's interpretation then the supplement is straight fire. In turn, it is well known that La Pierre writes a hard con law exam so you should practice with those. I presume that you all have only really covered the Commerce Clause, the Dormant Commerce Clause, the 10th amendment, and maybe some National Executive stuff so it is key that you know the big cases like Lochner, Lopez, City of Boerne, Steel Seizure backwards and forwards. If you covered justiciability doctrines like political question and standing then you need to know Bush v. Gore, Lujan, etc. Every con law professor is different. Flagg for example had a whole day dedicated to American Indian Law. If you want to practice a time crunch exam then take Richards's two hour practice exam. He even gives a model answer. Long story short, know the commerce clause cold because that is the foundational element of 1L Con Law. If you know that -- presuming Law doesn't go into funky stuff like the 14th amendment -- then you are 60-70% on the way to beating median. If you had to learn threshold questions like standing then know those tests.
Another major step of doing well in Con Law is taking the major cases and playing around with them. For example, Lopez and its progeny are pretty much the last word (so far) on the commerce clause. Thus, it is not crazy to think that a professor will write a fact pattern where Congress uses the commerce clause to create a statute that makes something illegal. The statute given to you by the professor would presumably be ambiguously worded so you would have to pick out the key contextual facts leading to its passage and the key elements of the statute and discuss the constitutionality of the hypothetical law.
(1) Get notes in good order with cases organized by syllabus topic
(2) Compare my case notes and summaries with Chemerinsky (note any differences and interesting things he has to say)
(3) Write down all of the tests you learned (Standing, Lopez Test, Dole etc.)
(4) Make an attack outline that has the key tests
(5) Make a master case list with very bare bones facts that includes holding and key dicta that may be dispositive
Is this advice for LaPierre? It doesn't seem like any one case encompasses the entire test for a particular area. Do you use a sort of synthesized analytical framework for each? For example, for DCC (abridged):
Step 1: Ends? Economic or health/safety?
Step 2: Discriminatory?
If Discriminatory -> Hunt balancing, reasonable alternatives
If Not Discriminatory -> Pike balancing
Given that the exam statute is likely ambiguous and could be either discriminatory or not, do you do both balancing tests anyway? Do you do the Gibbons
tests even though they're not the modern approach but aren't explicitly overruled?
We haven't done National Executive Power and Lochner, City of Boerne, and Steel Seizure mean nothing to me. According to LaPierre also by Garcia
it's been solidified that 10th amendment is a truism and is just something you say before you actually argue substance. I do think this is the first year we're doing Comstock, Sebelius, and Kebadeau (dunno how to spell that).