Which jurisprudential theory contends that the Constitution’s meaning changes over time in order to reflect the constantly changing needs of society?

Jurisprudential theory contends that the Constitution’s

For multiple choice questions, make sure your answer is clearly indicated. I recommend using the ‘text highlight color’ function in Word to highlight-mark your choice. [It usually has a default setting to yellow highlighting and can be found in the Home tab on the left upper side of the screen.] For short answer questions, please write using complete sentences with correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. If you use an assigned document or book, cite the work using any style you prefer (but make sure you include the author and page number in the citation). You can use quotations, but I prefer you to AVOID using quotations unless necessary. (I want your answers in your own words rather than a quotation.)

Multiple Choice: Select the best answer for each question. Indicate your answer in a consistent manner. I recommend using the ‘Text Highlight Color’ function in Word (usually found in the Home tab at the top of a Word document; usually a yellow underline button on top left of the menu). (2 points each)

1. Judicial review is

a. The practice of a common law court determining the wisdom of a statutory law

b. The practice of a court determining the constitutionality of a statute or other state-sanctioned act/practice

c. The practice of a legislature reviewing a court’s decisions to determine their constitutionality

d. The practice of the executive branch reviewing the qualifications of a potential nominee to the Supreme Court.

2. The predecessor to the U.S. Constitution was

a. The Bill of Rights

b. The Magna Charta

c. The Federalist Papers

d. The Articles of Confederation

3. Which jurisprudential theory contends that the Constitution’s meaning changes over time in order to reflect the constantly changing needs of society?


4. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution contains a clause that provides for a hierarchy of legal authority, wherein the Constitution trumps conflicting federal laws, and federal laws trump conflicting state laws. What is this constitutional clause called?


5. What case does the Bork/Troy article identify as the real “turning point” in commerce clause jurisprudence?

a. Gibbons v. Ogden

b. McCulloch v. Maryland

c. Champion v. Ames

d. Wickard v. Filburn

6. An existing legal standard, to which a court looks for guidance when making a determination of a legal question is called a

a. Precedent

b. Ex post facto law

c. Regulatory law

d. None of the above

7. Article I of the U.S. Constitution creates what institution?


8. Article III of the U.S. Constitution created all federal courts.

True False

9. In Federalist No. 10 Madison argues that the existence of factions is generally beneficial for society.

True False

10. The Federalist Papers were authored by




11. How many justices total are on the current U.S. Supreme Court?


12. The division of sovereignty in the American system, where power is divided between the state and national governments, is known as


13. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution enumerates the ________________ of Congress.

14. The Federalist Papers provided arguments

a. Favoring the Constitution

b. Opposing the Constitution

c. Advocating amendments to the Constitution

d. None of the above

15. Under the U.S. Constitution, senators serve terms of _________ years.

16. Under the U.S. Constitution, the Presidency is the only office elected through this institution: _____________________________

17. The U.S. Constitution assigns the President what role in the legislative process?

18. In the hierarchy of legal authority established under the U.S. Constitution, which prevails?

a. A federal statute over a contrary state law

b. A state law over a contrary federal statute

c. A federal regulation over a contrary federal statute

d. A municipal ordinance over a contrary state law

19. Which article of the U.S. Constitution created the Supreme Court?

20. Which entities play a constitutional role in the formation of treaties?

a. President and House of Representatives

b. President and Senate

c. President alone

d. House and Senate alone

21. The U.S. Supreme Court is able to review state supreme court decisions that involve federal or constitutional issues.

True  False

22. The intermediate courts of appeal in the federal system are called

a. Superior Courts of Appeal

b. Circuit Courts of Appeal

c. Federal Courts of First Instance

d. Appellate Division Courts

23. The federal trial court is called

a. District court

b. Superior court

c. Municipal court

d. Standard court

24. Federalist No. 78 is concerned with what branch of government?

25. In Wickard v. Filburn, how did the Supreme Court define commerce? (Only a one-sentence answer is needed.)

26. Wickard v. Filburn limited congressional power under the commerce clause.

True False

27. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted under the Commerce Clause power.

True  False

28. Under the Commerce Clause, Congress may regulate:

a. The use of the channels of interstate commerce

b. The “instrumentalities” (for example, vehicles) used in interstate commerce

c. Activities that substantially affect interstate commerce

d. None of the above

e. All of the above

29. Under National Federation of Indep. Bus. v. Sebelius (2012), the Court struck down the Medicaid expansion provision because

a. Congress had threatened to deprive states of Medicaid funding if they failed to abide by the expanded program

b. Congress had exceeded its Commerce Clause power

c. Congress had exceeded its Tax Clause power

d. None of the above

30. The authors of the text on drones argue that states should have the control over all drone activities.

True False

31. In National Federation of Indep. Bus. v. Sebelius (2012), Chief Justice Roberts wrote an opinion that supports the position that the Commerce Clause does not allow Congress to require individuals to engage in commerce.

True False

32. Which constitutional clause was cited in the majority opinion of National Federation of Indep. Bus. v. Sebelius (2012) as the basis for Congress’s power to enact the “individual mandate” provision of the Affordable Care Act?

a. Commerce Clause

b. Tax Clause

c. Spending Clause

d. Necessary and Proper Clause

33. In Chevron v. NRDC (1984) the practice of _________ was at issue.

a. Delegation of authority to agencies

b. Federal agencies interpreting statutes

c. Judicial deference to agency interpretations of statutes

d. All of the above

34. In the American federal system agencies are staffed by

a. Political appointees

b. Technocrats

c. Career employees

d. All of the above

35. In Chevron the Court held

a. Regardless of the intent of Congress the Court will always defer to an agency’s interpretation of a statute

b. If the statute is silent or ambiguous, then the Court must determine whether the agency has rendered a permissible construction of the statute

c. The Court will never defer to an agency’s interpretation of a statute

d. None of the above

36. Woodrow Wilson and Progressives argued for _______________ to play a significant role in government policymaking.

37. Which position does Charles Cooper likely support?

a. Overturning Chevron v. NRDC

b. Increasing federal agencies’ regulatory powers

c. Having the Supreme Court play a reduced role in reviewing agency decision-making

d. Decreasing the agency oversight role of Congress

38. Environmental law presents a problem well suited to federal responses because

a. Pollution and animals migrate irrespective of state boundaries

b. The U.S. Constitution designates environmental problems as exclusively federal

c. The states lack state constitutional power to respond to environmental problems

d. None of the above

39. Most federal environmental laws are likely premised upon what U.S. Constitutional provision?

a. Tax clause

b. Spending clause

c. Commerce clause

d. Presentation clause

e. Stewardship clause

40. Gwen Arnold contends the real cause of the problems between the EPA and the Corps of Engineers was

a. The concept of cooperative federalism

b. The Congress gave both agencies legal authority over wetlands

c. The agencies were staffed with very ideologically different administrators

d. The President failed to appoint permanent senior personnel to each agency

41. Judicial review is

a. The determination by a court of whether a statute has been properly applied to facts

b. The determination by a court of whether a state law violates a federal treaty

c. The determination by a court of whether a statute or regulation violates a constitutional provision

d. The determination by a court of whether a state law has been preempted by a federal law

42. The President nominates federal judges and the ________________ decides whether to confirm the nomination.

43. The Chevron v. NRDC case demonstrates

a. Congress rarely delegates policy-making to agencies

b. The federal agencies are integral to the lawmaking function of American federal government

c. The Supreme Court usually overrules agency interpretations

d. None of the above

44. If the federal government were to enact a standard for wetland management that only applied to all states west of the Rockies, what argument might those states make in federal court against such a standard? (Give a one-sentence answer.)

45. The theory of originalism is best summarized as:

a. Constitutional and statutory provisions must be interpreted according to the political beliefs of the judges interpreting them.

b. Constitutional and statutory provisions must be interpreted according to the meaning that the drafters of those provisions believed they held.

c. Constitutional and statutory provisions must be interpreted according to the generally understood popular meaning of the provisions at the time they were enacted.

d. Constitutional and statutory provisions must be interpreted according to the meaning that the terms might have in the current society.

46. The case of Shelby County v. Holder was decided using

a. The principle of consolidated sovereignty

b. The principle of equal sovereignty

c. The principle of non-intervention

d. The principle of equal federalism

47. In Shelby County v. Holder the majority reasoned that states that had been required to seek pre-approval for voting system changes were

a. Being judged under a standard that was unfair

b. Being judged under a formula that no longer applied, as the conditions upon which the formula were based had significantly changed

c. Being judged under a formula that violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment

d. Being judged under a standard that violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment

48. Under the proposed REINS Act, what is the dollar amount threshold for congressional action?

49. The proposed REINS Act is a response to

a. Perceptions of congressional overreach in power

b. Perceptions of federal agency overreach in power

c. Perceptions of judicial overreach in power

d. Perceptions of federal agencies’ lack of power to reach their objectives

50. Ilya Somin contends that the Roberts Court is best explained through an understanding of the ideological left-right divide of partisan politics.

True False

Short Answer: Give reasons for each answer, citing (name and page number) assigned course materials when applicable.  TYPE YOUR ANSWER, FOLLOWING EACH QUESTSION, ON THIS DOCUMENT. SAVE YOUR WORK AND BACK IT UP FREQUENTLY!

(10 points each)

1. Hamilton considered the Supreme Court the “least dangerous branch”. Was he correct? Why or why not? (Make a brief argument, citing only course materials in support.)

2. What Federalist Paper we read has relevance to the interactions detailed in Gwen Arnold’s article on the EPA and Corps of Engineers? How does that Federalist essay help us understand the EPA-Corps interaction? (Cite only course materials in support of your argument.)

3. Using the readings in this course, what are some of the problems – both political and legal – presented by federal administrative agency governance? How has the Supreme Court responded to these problems? Has the judiciary fulfilled the mission of Federalist No. 78? (Make a brief argument, citing only course materials in support.)

4. (The following is not a real case.) The U.S. Supreme Court interprets the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to mean that not only is abortion not constitutionally protected, but the word “life” actually requires an affirmative duty of the state to prevent abortions from occurring. How would you characterize the jurisprudence supporting such a holding and why?

Essay Question: Same instructions as above. (20 points)

James Madison and Alexander Hamilton have a chance meeting with Doctor Who in 1787. He invites them into his Tardis (his “Time and Relative Dimension in Space” machine) and transports them to today. The Doctor wants to show them what’s become of the nation under the constitution they had proposed and defended in 1787. He hands them copies of the assigned readings in this course, which they read while drinking lattes at a local Starbuck’s.  (Hamilton raves about the Cherry Blossom Frappuccino.)

Based on what we know of Madison and Hamilton’s views from the three Federalist papers we’ve read in this course (No.’s 10, 51, and 78), speculate as to what they might say about the federal system in the 20th and 21st centuries referring only to the readings assigned in this course. [Do NOT exceed 1,000 words in your answer.]

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