This LibGuide is designed for use by law students in a Constitutional Law Seminar course.
The broad topic of Constitutional Law examines the interpretation and implementation of the United States Constitution. Constitutional law sets out the framework for the fundamental relations within American society, including relationships among the states, the states and the federal government, the three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) of the federal government, and the rights of the individuals in relation to both the federal and state government. This guide aims to provide a step-by-step process to enable students to successfully complete a seminar paper focused on Constitutional Law.
Appellate Review: Examination of a lower court's decision by a higher court, which can affirm, reverse, modify, or vacate the decision.
Executive Branch: The branch of government charged with administering and carrying out the law.
Federalism: The legal relationship and distribution of power between the national and regional governments within a federal system of government.
Judicial Branch: The branch of government consisting of the courts, whose function is to ensure justice by interpreting, applying, and generally administering the laws.
Judicial Review: A court's power to review the actions of other branches or levels of government; especially the courts' power to invalidate legislative and executive actions as being unconstitutional.
Legislative Branch: The branch of government responsible for enacting laws.
Separation of Powers: The division of governmental authority into three branches of government — legislative, executive, and judicial — each with specified duties on which neither of the other branches can encroach; a constitutional doctrine of checks and balances designed to protect the people against tyranny.
Stare Decisis: The doctrine of precedent, under which a court must follow earlier judicial decisions when the same points arise again in litigation.
All definitions come from Black’s Law Dictionary (11th ed. 2019).