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Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law

Discover how lawyers make sense of what the Constitution says-and doesn't say-led by an award-winning law professor.
Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 32.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Solid Intro to Constitutional Law Very informative, interesting course. Strongly recommended for anyone seeking an introduction to constitutional law.
Date published: 2022-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent!! Top five of all the many courses I have, which are over 50. I really understand something fundamental now about our country and laws from watching this course. 6 and 7 are especially relevant after the recent Dobbs decision. It's worth your time.
Date published: 2022-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spot On. Revelatory. I listen to the podcast, 'Strict Scrutiny'. These twelve lectures helped me immensely in following along with the assumed meanings of ideas and the narrative of the discussions related on the podcast. The professor does a yeomans job of pointing out the complexities of Constitutional Law and our inherited body politics. It is a good feeling to know that my shallow understanding of media announcements of Supreme Court decisions can now be analyzed by me with more nuance and background related to the US Constitution. I also leave with a more robust appreciation for the reasons for our current divided and polarized political realities.
Date published: 2022-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great historical look at the Constituion I enjoyed the lectures, the review of historical decisions to the current information of law.
Date published: 2022-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Constitutional Law, by Eric Berger, JD This was an amazing course by Eric Berger. Great information presented in an outstanding manner. Congrations to Dr. Berger for the super presentation.
Date published: 2021-11-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Didn't care for it! I bought this about a month ago, tried to listen to the instructor, and see what their ideal of "Constitutional Law" had in store for me. It was much less than I expected.
Date published: 2021-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A solid course all around The one feature this course lacks which would improve it the most is an annotated bibliography.
Date published: 2021-05-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from useless Even though I work in the legal field, this course was boring and useless
Date published: 2021-05-10
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Overview

Americans wage many of today's fiercest policy debates and culture wars as battles over constitutional meaning. In the 12 lectures of Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law, Professor Eric Berger offers the same introduction to constitutional law he provides to his own law students. You'll come away from this course with a better understanding of our founding document's many nuances and complexities, and the central role it plays in shaping our way of life.

About

Eric Berger

Constitutional law is endlessly rich and fascinating, and it really matters.

INSTITUTION

University of Nebraska College of Law

Eric Berger is the Earl Dunlap Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law. His scholarship focuses on constitutional law, including judicial decision-making in constitutional cases. He received his JD from Columbia Law School and then clerked for the Honorable Merrick B. Garland on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He went on to practice with Jenner & Block, where he worked on litigation, including in the US Supreme Court. He has been voted Professor of the Year by law students at Nebraska six times.

By This Professor

Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law
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The US Constitution through History
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Law School for Everyone: Constitutional Law

Trailer

Origins and Functions of the Constitution

01: Origins and Functions of the Constitution

While the U.S. Constitution left many important issues unresolved, it was clearly designed to serve several primary purposes (regardless of disagreements over how it serves those purposes). Travel back to the 18th century and investigate the origins of the founding document of the American experiment—a story of crisis, rebellion, and compromise.

33 min
The Marshall Court and the Constitution

02: The Marshall Court and the Constitution

At the core of most issues in constitutional law is one question: Who decides? So why is it that the U.S. Supreme Court became the ultimate arbiter of constitutional questions? Explore this question by examining a pair of Chief Justice John Marshall’s famous opinions—Marbury v. Madison and McCulloch v. Maryland.

32 min
The Scope of the Executive Power

03: The Scope of the Executive Power

Using the 1952 opinion of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company v. Sawyer, probe the slippery issue of how much power the U.S. president wields under the Constitution. One nuanced perspective comes from Justice Robert H. Jackson and his theory of executive power that views presidential power primarily through the lens of Congressional action.

29 min
Congress and the New Deal Commerce Clause

04: Congress and the New Deal Commerce Clause

Learn how Congress’s power—as we understand it today—was shaped significantly by constitutional transformations that occurred during the 1930s. See how the Court ultimately vindicated robust Congressional powers under the Commerce Clause, and how President Franklin D. Roosevelt packed the courts with judges sympathetic to his transformative New Deal policies.

33 min
Congress and the Commerce Clause Today

05: Congress and the Commerce Clause Today

Turn now to the ways the Commerce Clause has been interpreted in the decades since the New Deal era. Discover how the Court expanded Congress’s power still further in Wickard v. Filburn, and how the Court revisited the Commerce Clause in cases addressing a variety of pressing social issues, including racial segregation and affordable health care.

31 min
Individual Liberty: Contracts and Privacy

06: Individual Liberty: Contracts and Privacy

According to Professor Berger, individual liberty is one of the most doctrinally and culturally controversial topics in constitutional law. Find out how crucial a role the 14th Amendment’s Due Process Clause has played when it comes to individual rights with a look at famous cases, including Lochner v. New York and West Coast Hotel v. Parrish.

32 min
Liberty Disputed: Abortion and Gay Rights

07: Liberty Disputed: Abortion and Gay Rights

Court decisions on some of America’s most controversial issues have relied on substantive due process. Take a closer look at how the Court confronted two of these issues: abortion (in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey) and LGBT rights (in Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges).

33 min
Equal Protection and Civil Rights

08: Equal Protection and Civil Rights

Explore the history of the Court’s civil rights decisions—including Korematsu v. United States and Brown v. Board of Education—as a way to better understand the complex relationship between law and culture. Just how did changed attitudes about race help shape seismic changes in constitutional law?

33 min
The Affirmative Action Conundrum

09: The Affirmative Action Conundrum

Here, Professor Berger walks you through the constitutionality of affirmative action, in which public institutions give preferences on the basis of race. Key to this insightful lecture is a look at strict scrutiny, in which the Court reviews policies extremely carefully—and ostensibly without giving the government the benefit of the doubt.

33 min
Sex Discrimination and Women’s Rights

10: Sex Discrimination and Women’s Rights

Of all the constitutions in the West, the U.S. Constitution is the only one without a provision that explicitly declares equal rights for the sexes under the law. From Minor v. Happersett in 1875 to United States v. Virginia in 1996, discover how the courts have ruled on sex-based classifications.

33 min
The Nature of the Judicial Power

11: The Nature of the Judicial Power

Sometimes, the courts don’t decide important issues before them. In this lecture, take a closer look at why courts quite often choose not to decide a particular case on its merits. Topics here include justiciability doctrines (court-made decisions under which courts impose limitations on their power), sovereign immunity, and official immunity.

33 min
The Politics of Constitutional Law

12: The Politics of Constitutional Law

While judges are not (as some people assume) politicians in robes, they are certainly not immune from political influences. Explore the role of politics in constitutional law through the high-stakes confirmation battles over judicial nominees (including the battle over the seat of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia).

35 min