The course will be taught as a two-hour weekly seminar, focused on class discussion of the readings. The day before each session, students will submit a short (2-4 pp.) response to that week's readings. Response papers will be circulated to all participants via Sakai and will serve, together with my own comments at the start of each session, as a basis for discussions. Students will also conduct their own independent research on the topic, engaging with a particular aspect of originalist theory or proposing or critiquing a particular originalist reading of some portion of the Constitution. Students will submit first drafts of the research project (25 pp.) for review and comment, and may have the opportunity to workshop their drafts with the class. Grading will be based on class participation, the response papers, and the draft and final research papers. Writing for the course will satisfy the upper-level writing requirement.
Prerequisites: Either (1) (A) one introductory course on American constitutional law, as well as (B) one upper-level course on constitutional law, legislation and statutory interpretation, federal courts, administrative law, or jurisprudence; or (2) equivalent coursework elsewhere. (This prerequisite may be waived with permission of the faculty member.)