Cover image for Constitutional law for a changing America. Institutional powers and constraints
Constitutional law for a changing America. Institutional powers and constraints
Epstein, Lee, 1958-
Personal Author:
Fourth edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xix, 699 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Understanding the Supreme Court -- The Judiciary -- The Legislature -- The Executive -- The Separation of powers system in action -- Federalism.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF4548 .E67 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Should a president be immune from civil lawsuits? Can the federal government force local governments to enforce the Brady bill gun control law? This text analyzes the institutional authority of government as it is interpreted in important Court decisions, including nation-state relations and economic liberties.

Author Notes

Lee Epstein is the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor of Political Science and Professor of Law at Washington University
Thomas G. Walker is professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Emory University, where he teaches constitutional law and the judicial process

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xvii
I The U.S. Constitution
An Introduction to the U.S. Constitutionp. 3
The Road to the U.S. Constitutionp. 3
Underlying Principles of the Constitutionp. 7
Readingsp. 11
1. Understanding the U.S. Supreme Courtp. 13
Processing Supreme Court Casesp. 13
Supreme Court Decisionmaking: Legally Relevant Approachesp. 24
Supreme Court Decisionmaking: Extralegal Approachesp. 35
Conducting Research on the Supreme Courtp. 47
Readingsp. 49
II Institutional Authority
Structuring the Federal Systemp. 55
Origins of the Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances Systemp. 55
Separation of Powers and the Constitutionp. 57
Contemporary Thinking on the Constitutional Scheme: Separation of Powers Gamesp. 58
Readingsp. 60
2. The Judiciaryp. 61
Establishment of the Federal Judiciaryp. 62
Judicial Reviewp. 66
Marbury v. Madison (1803)p. 66
Martin v. Hunter's Lessee (1816)p. 78
Eakin v. Raub (1825)p. 87
Constraints on Judicial Power: Article IIIp. 91
Ex parte McCardle (1869)p. 92
Baker v. Carr (1962)p. 99
Nixon v. United States (1993)p. 105
Flast v. Cohen (1968)p. 110
Constraints on Judicial Power: The Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances Systemp. 117
Readingsp. 119
3. The Legislaturep. 121
Article I: Historical Overviewp. 121
Congressional Authority over Internal Affairs: Institutional Independence and Integrityp. 125
Powell v. McCormack (1969)p. 128
U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (1995)p. 134
Gravel v. United States (1972)p. 142
Sources and Scope of Legislative Powersp. 147
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)p. 149
McGrain v. Daugherty (1927)p. 157
Watkins v. United States (1957)p. 161
Barenblatt v. United States (1959)p. 166
United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. (1936)p. 174
South Carolina v. Katzenbach (1966)p. 179
Readingsp. 183
4. The Executivep. 185
Article II: Basic Considerationsp. 185
The Faithful Execution of the Laws: Defining the Contours of Presidential Powerp. 194
In re Neagle (1890)p. 194
Domestic Powers of the Presidentp. 200
Clinton v. City of New York (1998)p. 201
Morrison v. Olson (1988)p. 206
Myers v. United States (1926)p. 216
Humphrey's Executor v. United States (1935)p. 220
United States v. Nixon (1974)p. 224
Mississippi v. Johnson (1867)p. 229
Nixon v. Fitzgerald (1982)p. 232
Clinton v. Jones (1997)p. 237
Ex parte Grossman (1925)p. 243
Murphy v. Ford (1975)p. 246
The President and Foreign Policyp. 248
United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp. (1936)p. 248
Readingsp. 251
5. The Separation of Powers System in Actionp. 252
Domestic Powersp. 252
Mistretta v. United States (1989)p. 257
Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha (1983)p. 262
Bowsher v. Synar (1986)p. 266
Presidential Power During War and National Emergenciesp. 271
The Prize Cases (1863)p. 272
Ex parte Milligan (1866)p. 275
Korematsu v. United States (1944)p. 283
Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company v. Sawyer (1952)p. 288
Dames and Moore v. Regan (1981)p. 293
Readingsp. 296
III Nation-State Relations
Allocating Government Powerp. 299
The Framers and Federalismp. 300
The Tenth and Eleventh Amendmentsp. 301
Readingsp. 303
6. Federalismp. 305
Nation-State Relations: The Doctrinal Cyclep. 305
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)p. 307
Scott v. Sandford (1857)p. 313
Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918)p. 321
United States v. Darby Lumber (1941)p. 325
National League of Cities v. Usery (1976)p. 327
Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (1985)p. 333
New York v. United States (1992)p. 339
Printz v. United States (1997)p. 344
The Eleventh Amendmentp. 350
Alden v. Maine (1999)p. 352
New Judicial Federalismp. 359
Michigan v. Long (1983)p. 361
National Preemption of State Lawsp. 369
State of Missouri v. Holland (1920)p. 369
Crosby v. National Foreign Trade Council (2000)p. 371
Pennsylvania v. Nelson (1956)p. 376
Pacific Gas and Electric Company v. State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission (1983)p. 379
Readingsp. 383
7. The Commerce Powerp. 385
Constitutional Foundations of the Commerce Powerp. 385
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)p. 387
Defining Interstate Commercep. 391
United States v. E. C. Knight Co. (1895)p. 393
Stafford v. Wallace (1922)p. 397
The Supreme Court and the New Dealp. 399
A. L. A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935)p. 402
Carter v. Carter Coal Company (1936)p. 408
National Labor Relations Board v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation (1937)p. 416
Wickard v. Filburn (1942)p. 423
Modern Limitations on the Commerce Powerp. 425
United States v. Lopez (1995)p. 426
United States v. Morrison (2000)p. 431
Regulating Commerce as a Federal Police Powerp. 436
Champion v. Ames (1903)p. 438
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964)p. 442
The Commerce Power of the Statesp. 444
Cooley v. Board of Wardens (1852)p. 446
Southern Pacific Company v. Arizona (1945)p. 450
Hunt v. Washington State Apple Advertising Commission (1977)p. 454
Maine v. Taylor (1986)p. 457
Readingsp. 460
8. The Power to Tax and Spendp. 462
The Constitutional Power to Tax and Spendp. 462
Direct Taxes and the Power to Tax Incomep. 463
Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Co. (1895)p. 466
Taxation of Exportsp. 472
United States v. United States Shoe Corporation (1998)p. 472
Intergovernmental Tax Immunityp. 474
South Carolina v. Baker (1988)p. 476
Davis v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1989)p. 478
Taxation as a Regulatory Powerp. 481
McCray v. United States (1904)p. 482
Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. (1922)p. 485
Taxing and Spending for the General Welfarep. 488
United States v. Butler (1936)p. 489
Steward Machine Co. v. Davis (1937)p. 494
South Dakota v. Dole (1987)p. 498
Restrictions on the Revenue Powers of the Statesp. 501
Michelin Tire Corp. v. Wages (1976)p. 502
Complete Auto Transit v. Brady (1977)p. 505
Quill Corp. v. North Dakota (1992)p. 507
Oregon Waste Systems v. Department of Environmental Quality of the State of Oregon (1994)p. 511
Readingsp. 514
IV Economic Liberties
Economic Liberties and Individual Rightsp. 517
Readingsp. 519
9. The Contract Clausep. 521
The Framers and the Contract Clausep. 521
John Marshall and the Contract Clausep. 523
Fletcher v. Peck (1810)p. 523
Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)p. 528
Decline of the Contract Clause: From the Taney Court to the New Dealp. 533
Proprietors of Charles River Bridge v. Proprietors of Warren Bridge (1837)p. 534
Stone v. Mississippi (1880)p. 539
Home Building and Loan Association v. Blaisdell (1934)p. 542
Revitalization of the Contract Clausep. 546
United States Trust Co. v. New Jersey (1977)p. 546
Allied Structural Steel Co. v. Spannaus (1978)p. 550
Readingsp. 553
10. Economic Substantive Due Processp. 554
The Development of Substantive Due Processp. 557
The Slaughterhouse Cases (1873)p. 557
Munn v. Illinois (1877)p. 564
Allgeyer v. Louisiana (1897)p. 570
The Roller Coaster Ride of Substantive Due Process: 1898-1923p. 572
Lochner v. New York (1905)p. 573
Muller v. Oregon (1908)p. 579
The Heyday of Substantive Due Process: 1923-1936p. 585
Adkins v. Children's Hospital (1923)p. 585
The Depression, the New Deal, and the Decline of Substantive Due Processp. 588
Nebbia v. New York (1934)p. 588
West Coast Hotel v. Parrish (1937)p. 593
Williamson v. Lee Optical Company (1955)p. 597
Readingsp. 599
11. The Takings Clausep. 600
Protecting Private Property from Government Seizurep. 600
What Constitutes a Taking?p. 603
United States v. Causby (1946)p. 603
Penn Central Transportation Company v. City of New York (1978)p. 606
Public Use Requirementp. 610
Berman v. Parker (1954)p. 611
Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff (1984)p. 613
Resurrecting the Takings Clausep. 616
Nollan v. California Coastal Commission (1987)p. 618
Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council (1992)p. 621
Dolan v. City of Tigard (1994)p. 625
Readingsp. 630
Reference Material
Constitution of the United Statesp. 633
Federalist Paper, No. 78p. 643
Bush v. Gore (2000)p. 647
U.S. Presidentsp. 655
Thumbnail Sketch of the Supreme Court's Historyp. 657
The Justicesp. 659
Natural Courtsp. 665
Supreme Court Calendarp. 671
Briefing Supreme Court Casesp. 672
Glossaryp. 674
Subject Indexp. 679
Case Indexp. 693
Illustration Creditsp. 699