Exam Type: One-Day Take-Home
This course will introduce students to how the legislative and executive branches make law. Statutes passed by Congress and regulations promulgated by agencies govern nearly every aspect of our society and our economy. This course will give students the tools to understand how statutes and regulations come to be and how they are interpreted and applied in practice.
The course will consist of six units. The first unit will focus on the legislative process, including Congress’s internal procedures and organization. The second unit will examine several major theories of statutory interpretation. The third unit will discuss tools of statutory interpretation, including canons of construction. The fourth unit will examine the basic structure of administrative agencies and their constitutional position. The fifth unit will discuss rulemaking, adjudication, and some fundamentals of the Administrative Procedure Act. The sixth unit will explore the approaches that courts take to reviewing agency actions. Throughout, we will consider cases in the context of broader themes, including the relationship between law and politics and the relationship between democratic and technocratic approaches to policymaking.
In exploring these topics, the course will reference cases and materials from many substantive areas of law, including criminal law, civil rights law, environmental law, labor and employment law, health care law, and national security law. The course will thus provide you with a small taste of many different areas of law that you may wish to explore further in the future. This is a 1L course, so there are no prerequisites and no prior background is assumed.