Seminar in Constitutional Law

L799 is taught by Fuentes-Rohwer, D. Johnsen, D. Williams

The commonwealth of Puerto Rico raises many important questions about constitutional law, race and democratic theory. To take the most obvious one: what is Puerto Rico? Also, who are the people of Puerto Rico. Another: under what theory of constitutional obligation are the people of Puerto Rico bound to follow the US Constitution? These are not simple questions and the US Constitution does not offer clear answers. Through the example of Puerto Rico, the seminar will discuss many of the leading questions in constitutional law, including: congressional powers; the status of the U.S. Supreme Court as a member of the ruling coalition; equal protection; the inherent powers doctrine and its racist underpinnings; and birthright [statutory] citizenship. This seminar should interest students of American history, constitutional law, democracy theory and race.