KC Johnson

US Constitutional History (Summer 2020) (Section 1)

History 7448

American Constitutional History

This course explores American constitutional history from the Revolutionary Era to the present day. It will be taught partly synchronously–in two groups, during the Monday timeslot–and partly asynchronously.


  • Research Paper (40%)
  • Participation (30%)
  • Review Summaries & Case Readings (20%)
  • Asynchronous Lecture Questions/Reactions (10%)

Required Books:


July 13. Foundations

July 15 (asynchronous): Slavery, Expansion, and the Crisis of the Constitution

July 20. Reconstruction & the Gilded Age

  1. U.S. v. Cruikshank: Isaiah McCoy
  2. Civil Rights Cases: Fatima Sahin
  3. Bradwell v. The State: Sharmaine Pierre
  4. Yick Wo v. Hopkins: Trisha Bazile

July 22 (asynchronous): The Progressive Constitution

July 27: FDR & Civil Rights


  1. Korematsu v. United States: Saleema Josey
  2. West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette: Ryan Binongo
  3. Meyer v. Nebraska: Max Narotzky
  4. Adkins v. Children’s Hospital: Rashawn Hollenquest

July 29 (asynchronous): The Cold War & the Constitution

August 3: Civil Rights & the Constitution

(Rashawn Hollenquest) Michael Klarman, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights


  1. Sweatt v. Painter: Isaiah McCoy
  2. Smith v. Allwright: Fatima Sahin
  3. Reitman v. Mulkey: Trisha Bazile
  4. Milliken v. Bradley: Rashawn Hollenquest

August 5 (asynchronous): Political Scandal & the Constitution

August 10: Battles over the Court


  1. Bethel School District v. Fraser: Saleema Josey
  2. Morrison v. Olson: Ryan Binongo
  3. Planned Parenthood v. Casey: Max Narotzky
  4. Romer v. Evans: Sharmaine Pierre

August 12 (asynchronous): Gay Rights & the Constitution

August 17. The Modern Era


  1. Sharmaine: Kelly v. United States
  2. Ryan: Chiafalo v. Washington
  3. Saleema: Trump v. Mazars USA
  4. Max: June Medical Services v. Russo
  5. Trisha: Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrisey
  6. Isaiah: NYState Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. City of New York
  7. Rashawn: McGirt v. Oklahoma

August 21. Final Papers Due by 11.59pm

%d bloggers like this: