Summer 2005
Room: Stern 012
M-F: 9:30-11:20
Office Hours: MWF: 11:20-12:00
H. L. Pohlman
Denny 301
Ext. 1249
Political Science 290Y-01
Constitutional Controversies
I.  Course Description: This course will examine four major constitutional and political controversies: Watergate, Clinton’s impeachment, Election 2000, the war on terrorism.  The goal of the course is to give students a deeper appreciation of the political context in which the Supreme Court operates, a better understanding of the process of constitutional adjudication, and a clearer sense of the constitutional, political, and moral principles involved with these controversies.
II. Course Requirements: . .
Midterm Exam
No Makeup Exams Given 
(Check dates!)
Final Exam
No Makeup Exams Given 
(Check dates!)
.  .
Mock Trial Performance

Written Assignments &
 Treasure Hunts

III. Required Texts:

- H. L. Pohlman. Constitutional Debate in Action: Governmental Powers (CDA)

- Handouts

- Readings from various internet sites. The following are useful sites:

U.S. Supreme Court:

Jenner and Black websites:


Lesis/Nexis: electronic database available through library
Amnesty International:

Electronic Privacy Info Center:
ACLU: Safe and Free:
Center for Democracy and Tech:
Federalist Society's Page on National Security:
Delaware Criminal Justice Council:
National Institute of Military Justice:
Center for Constitutional Rights:
Human Rights Watch:

-You will be able to print articles, decisions, and briefs off the internet in any of the computer rooms on campus. You will not be charged printing costs. The Information Commons in the lower floor of the library would be an excellent place to do your printing. Expect delays if several of you print at the same time. Delays can be alleviated by printing one copy and xeroxing additional copies.
IV.   Course Outline:

July 5: Introduction to course and subtopic of Military Trials:

- Video on Lincoln's Assassination and the subsequent military trial

July 6: Discussion of the Reading Assignment on the Mary Surratt Trial

July 7: Attend ABA Moot Court at National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg

July 8: Discussion of Moot Court of Mary Surratt

 Discussion of Ex Parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2 (1866) (LN) and CDA,      pp. 105-111.
Treasure Hunt: Find an interesting historical fact about this             case on the internet

July 11-12: Discusson of Marbury v. Madison and its relationship to Lincoln's actions during the Civil War and Ex Parte Milligan. Read CDA, Chapter One, pp. 1-43.

July 13-14: World War II Military Trials
    Ex Parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1 (1942) (LN)
    In re Yamashita, 327 U.S. 1 (1946) (LN)
Treasure Hunt: Find something interesting on the internet about each of  these cases

July 15: District Court Decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2004) available at

July 18: Government's Brief to the D.C. Circuit, available at

July 19: Hamdan's Brief to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, available at

July 20:  Day for students to prepare for Mock Trial Day. Students are urged to consider amici briefs filed in Hamdan that are available at

July 21: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld Mock Trial Day. Students will have been divided into two teams and a panel of judges. Procedures and rules of the mock trial will be discussed in class.

July 22: Midterm Test

July 25: Review of the Midterm Exam and Discussion of Reading for Field Trip to Washington, D.C.

July 26: Field Trip to Washington, D.C.

July 27-28: Discussion of Field Trip and Korematsu v. United States, CDA,
                     Chapter 3.
-Treasure Hunt: Find something interesting about this case on the internet.

July 29-Aug. 1: Discussion of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, CDA, Chapter 4.
-Treasure Hunt: Find something interesting about this case on the internet
Aug. 2-3: Discussion of Hamdi and Padilla cases: Handouts.
-Treasure Hunt: Find something interesting about one of these cases on the internet for August 3.
Aug. 4: Mock Argument on Hamdi and Padilla cases. Students are urged to review some of the amici briefs filed in these two Supreme Court cases at the Jenner and Block websites cited above.

Aug. 5: Final Exam