Curriculum Guide · Courses
Originalism and The Federalist Papers
Professor John Baker
J.D. Seminar 1165 | 2 credit hours
This seminar will focus on The Federalist Papers and an Originalist understanding of the Constitution. The seminar covers the debate over ratification of the Constitution and its application to current constitutional questions involving the structure of the Constitution. In other words, relatively little time will be spent on the Bill of Rights. Students will be required to read the entire text of The Federalist: the Gideon Edition (Liberty Fund edition by Drs. Carey and McClellan), although only selected essays will actually be covered in the class. The essays will be addressed in class – primarily numbers 1, 9, 10, 23, 39, 45, 47-51, 63, 68-71, 76, 78-85- will cover the fundamental structure of the Constitution, i.e. separation of powers, federalism, and republicanism. References will be made to familiar structural cases from the Marshall Court and some more recent Supreme Court cases.
The class will meet for 5 consecutive days, Tuesday, May 28 through Saturday, June 1. Each morning, class will be held for 4 hours. On Wednesday, May 29, from 2:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. the class will go to the Supreme Court for a session with Justice Antonin Scalia. Students should arrive at the Supreme Court at 2:15 to go through security and make their way to the conference room. On Friday, May 31, there will be a two-hour panel discussion scheduled between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. An eight-hour take-home exam will be given for the course and will be administered between Monday, 6/10/13, and Monday, 6/24/13.