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Barnett's Constitutional Law: Cases in Context:

I received an examination copy of Randy Barnett's new constitutional law casebook, Constitutional Law: Cases in Context, today. I look forward to perusing it this summer and, who knows, maybe even adopting it for my ConLaw class.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Barnett's Constitutional Law: Cases in Context:
  2. Randy Barnett Wins a Guggenheim Fellowship:
Justice Scalia:
looks like someone's going to have an exciting summer.
4.8.2008 3:39pm
MJG:
With firsthand knowledge of his Con Law Course, I expect it to be compromised of 92% Commerce Clause, 8% Bill of Rights (with lengthy discussions on the Ninth Amendment), and about four pages on the equal protection clause.
4.8.2008 4:17pm
2L:
I used a draft copy for my ConLaw course last year, and I found it to be great (despite the typos and loose-leaf nature of a draft). I don't know whether it's unique to his casebook or not, but the semi-chronological ordering of the cases helped us put the development of the Court's jurisprudence in context. For instance, Commerce decisions like Wickard made much more sense coming soon after Carolene Products (I think we may have read them on consecutive days. They're within a dozen or so pages of each other). It makes the extension of the Commerce Clause seem not so radical but just a further development in the Court's deference to Congress. I really liked this juxtaposition, because I feel like people often single Wickard and related cases out as somewhat aberrant. Barnett's politics are obvious, but he's quite fair in his presentation of the material.

I also really dug the historical background material. The first few days of ConLaw mostly consisted of readings from historical documents - Locke, Federalist &Anti-Federalist Papers, material from controversy surrounding the establishment of the bank of the united states (some writings by Madison, if I remember), etc.
4.8.2008 5:09pm
Case1L (mail):
Speaking as someone who's currently taking Con law with Prof Adler, I'm glad to hear that a new text is possibly being considered. The organization and readability of the current Stone, Seidman, Sunstein text is pretty poor, and the cases are so edited down and choppy, that it is hard to understand what is going on in any particular case without resorting to other sources.
4.8.2008 9:35pm
Thoughtful (mail):
2L: "It makes the extension of the Commerce Clause seem not so radical but just a further development in the Court's deference to Congress."

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I always thought it was the Court's new willingness to defer to Congress, frightened as they were by FDR's court-packing scheme, that MADE these decisions so radical.
4.8.2008 11:19pm
fnook (mail):
With firsthand knowledge of his Con Law Course, I expect it to be compromised of 92% Commerce Clause, 8% Bill of Rights (with lengthy discussions on the Ninth Amendment), and about four pages on the equal protection clause.

From one former Barnett student (contracts, not conlaw) to another, I say: don't forget the Lochner revisionism! But be careful not to mention "lost constitutionalism" around these parts or the David Bernstein might have a coronary.
4.9.2008 12:41pm