Spring 2021 Course Schedule

Federal Courts (LAW-643-001)
Elizabeth Beske

Meets: 05:00 PM - 06:50 PM ( T, TH)

Enrolled: 62 / Limit: 80

Administrator Access


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Federal Courts is a deep dive into the key concepts of separation of powers and federalism that underlie our system of government. Focusing in on the federal judiciary and its role in our constitutional scheme will allow us an opportunity to examine both the ingenious (and sometimes vexing) interplay between Congress, the Executive, and the Judiciary and the allocation of power between state and federal judicial systems. Students taking this course will have greater understanding of our legal and political systems and familiarity with key concepts on the Constitutional Law portion of the bar exam that are not typically addressed in the first-year curriculum. Students interested in judicial clerkships or federal litigation will also gain useful background knowledge and emerge conversant in many topics they will encounter post-graduation.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

Fallon, Manning, Meltzer & Shapiro, Hart and Wechsler’s The Federal Courts and The Federal System (7th ed. 2015) (“H&W”) and its official 2018 Supplement.

First Class Readings

  • H&W pp. xcv – cii (Articles I-III of the Constitution) (skim).
  • H&W pp. 1-28 (through B.).
    • Intro Note on Judiciary Article
    • Note on Organization and Development of Federal Judicial System
  • H&W pp. 49-54 (through Note 1 only).
    • Intro Note – Nature of Federal Judicial Function


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