WVU McLaughlin Constitutional Law

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Constitutional Law
Taught by James A. McLaughlin
School West Virginia University College of Law
Semester(s) taught
Required texts Image of Constitutional Law: Principles and Polices (Aspen Treatise)
Constitutional Law: Principles and Polices (Aspen Treatise)


Image of Constitutional Law (University Casebook Series)
Constitutional Law (University Casebook Series)

Supplementary materials Image of Constitutional Law: [Connected eBook with Study Center] (Aspen Casebook)
Constitutional Law: [Connected eBook with Study Center] (Aspen Casebook)


Image of Constitutional Law: Principles And Policies (Introduction to Law Series)
Constitutional Law: Principles And Policies (Introduction to Law Series)

Related course(s) First Amendment Law


Historical References[edit | edit source]

  • 1215- Magna Charta -->part of British Constitutional Law
    • British only have unwritten Constitution, mainly docs and practices... its meaning is created by Parliament; Parliament has been primarily the House of Commons; There is NO JUDICIAL REVIEW in Britain... the final word/review= Parliament
  • 1535- Henry VIII- took English Church out of Roman Church & declared himself head of the English Church
  • 1627- Petition of Right–>
  • 1689- Bill of Rights–> John Locke
  • 1776- Declaration of Independence
  • 1781- Articles of Confederation
  • 1787- Constitution Convention

Writ of Mandamus[edit | edit source]

a writ sought by an ordinary citizen who says “the govt has a duty to do something that affects me positively, that I want. The Govt has a clear duty under the law to do it, and I want them to do it.”


Doctrine of Judicial Review[edit | edit source]

Marbury v. Madison (page 3)[edit | edit source]

Main Question - Who should decide, who should have the final word, as to the meaning of the Constitution?

ANSWER-Constitution Trumps Act of Congress (which came into being by the Constitution)

- Marshall’s opinion acts as if his opinion is plain meaning, not a question of Interpretation Marshall uses Transparent meanings

- Whenever you have a written Constitution, Judicial Review is a plain meaning concept