Constitutional Law 3.0: The Trump Trajectory

Constitutional Law 3.0: The Trump Trajectory

Professor Laurence Tribe
Spring 2018 seminar
W 3:00pm - 5:00pm in WCC Room 3034
2 classroom credits

Prerequisites: By permission of instructor. No prior courses required, but broad familiarity with U.S. constitutional doctrine and history is assumed and students would ideally have completed at least one of the basic HLS con law courses before taking this one. However, the course is technically open to 1Ls and LLMs along with 2Ls and 3Ls.

Enrollment: Enrollment will be limited to 12 and will be by permission of the instructor, based on written applications that include (1) the applicant’s CV and unofficial list of courses and instructors, including those the applicant plans to take concurrently with this seminar in Spring 2018, and (2) a brief (no more than 1 or 2 double-spaced pages) statement of interest. No auditors will be allowed.

Deadlines: All applications must be submitted electronically to Kathy McGillicuddy (, with copies to Professor Tribe ( no later than 4 PM on Friday, November 10. Only students who are prepared to make a firm commitment to enroll in the seminar in the event they are admitted should apply.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis beginning October 20 until 12 students are selected and have committed to enroll. There’s no guarantee slots will still be open by the time the class has been filled; if past is prologue, it’s likely to be filled well before the deadline.

Exam Type: No Exam

This seminar will explore what the Trump presidency might mean for American constitutional law, how we might expect the Constitution to constrain Trump’s execution of his powers and duties, and what #impeachment and removal by other means might resemble in the Trump era.

In addition to attending and participating in every seminar meeting, each student will be responsible for writing two very short papers (5 double-spaced pages max for each paper) during the course of the seminar. The paper topics will be assigned around a week before papers are due. All papers will be due two days before the session in which they will be used to facilitate class discussion of the assigned materials. Students who also opt to write a substantial 1-credit paper in conjunction with the seminar on a topic to be approved by the instructor will receive 3 credits in all.

A full syllabus of the course assignments will be available by early to mid- December and will be circulated to all who have applied to enroll by then.

Required texts: None. All assigned materials will be posted online and/or available in hardcopy form at Hauser 418.

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law & Civil Rights, Government Structure & Function