Curriculum Guide · Courses
Separation of Powers Seminar
Professors Clement and Dinh
J.D. Seminar 397 | 3 credit hours
This seminar addresses advanced issues raised by the interaction of the three branches of the federal government. In particular, the seminar will build on the separation of powers issues covered in the Constitutional Law I course by addressing some of those issues in greater depth and dealing with other separation of powers issues that tend to receive less attention because they do not result in justiciable controversies. We appear to be in the midst of a period of unusual friction among the three branches, and the seminar will focus on many of the current disputes. Specific areas of study will include the political question doctrine, the invocation of executive privilege in Congress and the courts, executive immunity from the criminal and civil process, congressional subpoena power over executive branch documents, the effect of impeachment on the separation of powers, the issues raised by the executive branch's refusal to defend the constitutionality of acts of Congress, and judicial review of executive branch efforts to address foreign terrorism.
Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and the course, The Constitutional Distribution of Powers to Congress and the Executive (formerly Separation of Powers).