State Action Doctrine

State Action Doctrine 2022 – Meaning and Free Online Courses (Coursera)

This article explores the State Action Doctrine 2022 – Meaning and Free Online Courses (Coursera) in relation to constitutional law with highlights on the concentration and perception of individual rights and liberties.

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The State Action Doctrine is like a mysterious puzzle to law students, legal scholars, lawyers, and judges.

However, it is a key component of the Fourteenth Amendment a threshold requirement that must be satisfied before triggering protection of our fundamental rights

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Although the doctrine itself seems to be curious without purpose, a collection of arbitrary rules that impede constitutional protection of liberty, equality, and fairness for no good reason

“Professor Charles Black called the State Action Doctrine” a metaphysical catastrophe region “almost forty years ago and described academic commentary on it as” a torchless quest for a way out of a damp echoing tunnel. 

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However, other legal scholars have characterized the theory of state intervention more recently as “analytically incoherent” and “a miasma.”

Nevertheless, the explanation of why the State Action Doctrine is deemed to be so inscrutable is that the doctrine’s intent has been overlooked. 

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Table of Contents

About State Action Doctrine 

On its face, the State Action Doctrine seems plain. The U.S. provisions The Constitution and the amendments thereto shall extend to the government and those working on its behalf, but not to private people or bodies.

However, the term “State Action” is taken from the vocabulary of section 1 of the 14th Amendment, which provides, in the relevant portion, that states (including local governments) shall treat citizens equally and reasonably (equal protection)

And must also not deprive them of fundamental rights (the due process, which covers much of the provisions of the Bill of Rights by the “incorporation” process). 

This suggests that I cannot abuse your civil rights directly, as a private citizen, at least those focused on the 14th Amendment.

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Any governmental intervention is required.

If I punch you, for example, because I disagree with your ideas, I may have broken state law, but not the 1st amendment.

On the other hand, if you are stopped by a police officer for what you say, your detention is a state activity and could result in the breach of your rights to the 1st Amendment regardless.

The State Action Doctrine provision plays a gatekeeper role in a very real sense: you cannot get to the issue of whether rights to the 14th Amendment have been abused until there is state action.

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In order to decide whether the actions of a nominally private individual or agency constitutes state action, the Court has established many technical criteria over the years:

  • The public function test,
  • The public function test,
  • The public function test,

Why do states care about State Action Doctrine? 

The apparent explanation is that this provision is expressly enforced by the 14th Amendment.

But for this public / private difference, there are good policy arguments as well. 

1. Democracy: First is the desire for personal liberty or democracy. We may not wish to be subject to statutory standards or guidelines as private citizens, even though we agree some of those guidelines are nice ones.

Furthermore, if similar requirements are applied to private citizens, they would entail federal judicial interference and regulation, thus interfering with our private decisions. No one needs to be charged and brought to federal court.

2. Federalism: The second rationale for the policy is a little more nuanced, but it is linked to the first.

Ours is a democratic structure in which states can, and do, play a critical part in securing all forms of human rights.

If private entities are governed by the 14th Amendment, so private actions will be supervised and assessed by the federal judiciary, while it is a primary function for states in our federal system. 

This question regarding federalism also exists in regards to Section 5 of the 14th Amendment, which grants Congress the authority to enact Section 1 of that amendment.

If private actions are protected by the 14th Amendment, it would follow that Congress could control far more private behavior than it could with the need for state intervention in effect.

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How does the State Action Doctrine take place in the United States?

The State Action Doctrine Theory of the United States Supreme Trust (‘Court’) articulates a seemingly straightforward principle: the Constitution of the United States in general, and its human rights in particular, extend only to state action, not to private action. 

As a matter of principle, state action is all political action, i.e. action at the state and federal level by the president, legislature, and judiciary; private action is all non-government action. 

The functional consequence of the theory is that, regardless of how profoundly an action, as a recognized human right, is covered.

In our constitutional law, the word “state action,” a term of art, symbolizes the norm, or supposed norm, that constitutional human rights protections are valid only against government action that impairs certain rights.

(In the expression, the term “state” means any unit or aspect of government, and not only one of the American states, while the principle of “state action” was at its most active, although most troublesome, concerning these.) 

The problems were numerous and complex; the State Action Doctrine did not achieve anywhere near a reasonable rationality condition. 

A look at its rise in constitutional history might be the strongest first step to addressing the issues concealed in the term “state motion”. 

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Does the State Action Doctrine protect Civil Rights?

Nevertheless, this line of reasoning, whether concerning the Civil Rights cases or concerning all other “fair justice” cases, is fraught with difficulties with the entire doctrine of “state policy,” in fact as in name.

Compliance “is an exceedingly unfit term for the” denial “of” protection.

However, protection from lynching, for example, was typically” denied “by” inaction. “State inaction is also the textbook form of” denial of protection.

Except for the relentless literalist, the bulk of the Civil Rights Cases did not read far enough; it read as far as” nor shall any Stat “But then hastily closed the book before.” 

It was infamous that the same citizens (blacks) whose “equal justice” was fundamental to the Fourteenth Amendment were usually the only recipients of a nominally “private” violation of these privileges.

Besides according to the majority’s interpretation, the state’s affirmative duty of justice should have applied to the protection of the customary rights of the resort to public transport and common inns.

Under the state action doctrine, acts performed by private actors, state departments, or municipal bodies can still be immune provided those requirements are met.

In the United States, the Bill of Rights As a general rule, the Constitution merely governs and prohibits government acts.

It does not protect individuals, organizations, or corporations that are private. 

This suggests that a citizen should only bring a suit against a “state actor” for a breach of their constitutional rights. 

Additionally, most of the time, in a case involving infringement of constitutional rights, the State Action Doctrine for federal constitutional lawsuits contains specific guidance as to who could be a claimant.

However, due to years of rulings by the U.S., several exceptions remain. 

The Central Government’s restrictions on State Action Doctrine

It is obvious from the wording of the different changes to the Constitution that they are meant to refer exclusively to the state. For starters, the First Amendment starts with “Congress shall make no rule …”

It goes on to describe rights such as freedom of worship, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly as limitations on Congressional acts.

Through their use of words, the Fourth and Fifth Amendments are less explicit but discuss functions carried out by the judiciary, such as police investigations, charges, courts, and eminent domain.

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State and Central Authority Constraints 

Originally, the Bill of Rights only referred to the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment passed after the Civil War, applied to state and municipal jurisdictions most of the limitations in the Bill of Rights.

The Due Process Clause is extended to the States by Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment and limits the ability of states to “abridge the privileges or immunities of United States citizens,” or to “deny any person … the equal protection of the laws.” 

In the same fashion, the Supreme Court also held that the Fourteenth Amendment applied to state governments rather than just the Due Process Clause.

The Incorporation Doctrine notes that other government authority limitations found in the Bill of Rights are also available to actors in state and local government.

However, these include all the rights discussed in the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments and much of the rights discussed in the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments.

Examples of State Action Doctrine 

There is no precise test for determining whether a private citizen is a state agency, and the Supreme Court has confirmed that creating such a test is an impossible task for the benefit of the Equal Protection Provision that it has never tried.

Kotch v. Board of River Port Pilot Comm’rs, 330 U.S. 552, 556 (1947).

Typically, court decisions addressing whether a private individual or entity acts as a state actor examine whether that individual performs a function usually reserved for the government or whether a private action has the force of law on others.

Selection of Jury 

The Supreme Court held that, in Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), prosecutors in criminal courts could not make peremptory objections based purely on race.

In situations in which the government is a party, this decision addresses a legacy of ethnic imbalances injuries. 

A civil trial litigator argued that Batson did not prevent him from making peremptory challenges based on race.

Because the state was not a party to the case, he maintained that his acts during the selection of the jury were not state intervention.

The Supreme Court objected, noting that political authority can dominate an operation in certain circumstances to the degree that its members must be assumed to be operating with the government’s authority.

Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co., Inc., 500 U.S. 614 (1991).

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Covenants on Accommodation 

In certain cases, restrictive real estate covenants are called private contractual matters.

However, the implementation of a restrictive covenant by the legal system is known as state intervention.

In Shelley v. Kraemer, 334 U.S. 1 (1948), the Supreme Court ruled that the Equal Rights Clause was abused by discriminatory settlements prohibiting black or Asian citizens from residing in a city. 

Commercial Organisations’ public funding 

The very fact that a private entity retains much of its government funds does not make it a state agent.

The entity should be called a state agency, and the state itself can be held accountable if the state has exerted arbitrary control.

Or has provided such significant encouragement that the option must be called by statute to be that of the state.” Blum v. Yaretsky, 457 U.S. 991, 457 U.S.

Online Courses for Constitutional Law and State Action

1. Chemerinsky on Constitutional Law – Individual Rights and Liberties

The University of California, Irvine via Coursera Help

Free Online Course (Audit)

Language: English       

Certificate: Paid Certificate Available

Duration: 5 weeks long, 21 hours’ worth of material

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Chemerinsky on Constitutional Law: 

The construction and understanding of the US would be highlighted by Human Rights and Liberty.

Over the years, the Constitution has stressed the protection of human freedoms and the evolution of equal protection.

You will hear about the past of the Constitution, decisions that have established a major precedent, and how changes in interpretation have relied on changes in the societal and political climate and the makeup of the Supreme Court. 

We will discuss the defense of human rights and freedoms in this course and take a look at what rights are and are not protected, and investigate several major developments in jurisprudence.

We’ll start by reviewing the framework of the defense of individual rights in the Constitution.

Then we will discuss the conditions in which different rights and freedoms may be controlled by the federal, state, and local governments.

We’ll discuss whether the government should handle people unequally and when it cannot handle them permissibly.

We’ll have a close look at what is perhaps the most famous amendment to the Constitution, the First Amendment, in our final two lectures.

At the end of this course, you should be able to: 

  • Define the individual freedoms protected by the Constitution and take into account the tradition and structure of their protection. 
  • Explain the compromises found by referencing examples and historical history in the Constitution 
  • The relevance of important cases such as Brown v. Commission, Lemon v. Kurtzman, and Lochner v. New York is expressed 
  • Illustrate how the outcome of litigation sometimes depends on the present cultural and political context and the makeup of the judiciary by citing individual cases and major changes in the jurisprudence of the judiciary. 
  • Evaluate the relative suitability of different legislative formulation and review approaches

Syllabus Service

Lecture 6 (in the series) – The Constitution’s Defense of Individual Freedoms Framework 

Why are interests protected by individuals? We will take a look at three of the mechanisms that safeguard our individual freedoms in this module:

The State Action Doctrine, the extension of the bill of rights to the states, and the concept of scrutiny stages. 

Lecture 7 (in the series)-Freedoms of the citizen 

In the Constitution, whose guarantees are enumerated? How has the court’s interpretation of these rights and their defense evolved?

We will become conscious of the rights that are both clearly enumerated and inferred by the text of the Constitution in this lecture.

Lecture 8-Equal Rights (in the series) 

We will investigate how equal treatment has been extended to multiple suspect classifications such as ethnicity, gender, citizenship, and more in this module.

In addition, we can discuss how the court has used scrutiny thresholds to assess whether, based on dubious classifications, the government will permissibly discriminate. 

Lecture 9 (in the series)-The first modification: the expression 

Why is freedom of expression as a constitutional right protected? What is its relevance? In this module, we’ll review four possible answers to this question.

We’ll also examine the basic principles that guide the Supreme Court’s methodology when examining questions of free speech.

Finally, we’ll take a look at the types of speech that have not been traditionally protected and the limitations that can be imposed on where protected forms of speech can be exercised.

Lecture 10 (in the series)-First Modification: Faith 

We will briefly discuss the Lemon Test, named after the case of Lemon v. Kurtz-man in which it was first articulated, in our final lecture module, and see how the court assessed cases involving the Establishment Clause.

We’ll also take a look at how the court rules on the Free Exercise Clause issues. 

2. Advanced Constitutional Law

CEC and National Law University Delhi via Swayam Help

Free Online Course

Language: English

Certificate: Paid Certificate Available

Duration: 15 weeks long

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This course would discuss the aspects in which Indian constitutional law is influenced by judges, regimes, and individuals.

A summary of the numerous schools of scholarly thinking on constitutional interpretation will be included, but also on concepts such as universal sovereignty, federalism, division of powers, the rule of law, and the position of the common law. 

The course will offer students an opportunity to discuss contemporary constitutional problems and constitutional controversies that are historically relevant.

Students will develop an appreciation of the trajectory of civil law and developments in it. 

The review of these subjects would help students to expand and extend their interpretation of the constitutional law concepts taught in the Advanced Constitutional Law compulsory course. 

In constitutional matters, students can develop an awareness of the practice of main players, including the High Court, state and federal executives and legislators, aboriginal citizens, and other individuals.

For colleges, the course is a full credit course. Law colleges typically offer this course as a complete 4-credit course that is taught over one semester.

The course is ready for certification and will be able to fulfill the needs of lifelong learners by exploring its relevance for individuals familiar with and involved in the Constitution of India. 

The course would fulfill the interests of practitioners who may not be enrolled for a traditional degree or who only want to learn constitutional law.

At the end of the semester, the course has a proctored test and offers credits to students.

Outcomes of Course: 

On completion of this course successfully, students will be able to: 

1. Analyze the concepts of Indian constitutional law, carry out an advanced self-directed legal study, and assess complicated legal knowledge. 

2. Critique, from a theoretical and political viewpoint, the operation of the constitution of India. 

3. Structure for a legal audience with sustained and succinct written and oral arguments. 

4. Analyze, from a national viewpoint, and in the sense of social and cultural plurality, the operation of the Constitution of India. 

5. Communicate independently and as a member of a squad easily. Act with others to prepare published papers in partnership. Engage ethically and competently for team members. 

6. To particular cases, apply legal and scientific principles.

Syllabus Service

Course Layout Advanced Constitutional Law-I  

Fundamentals & Structure of the Indian Government


1. Political History-The Making of the Constitution of India 

2. The government’s political and constitutional essence 


3. Preamble, Interpretation of the Constitution and Constitutionalism 

4. Powers separation 5. Legal Analysis 


6. The Union and the Territory thereof 

7. Citizen-hood 

8. Meaning and ‘Government’ definition 


9. Legislatures of Parliament and Administration 

10. Practices of Parliament and Protocols 

11. Law and Schedule X on Anti-Defection 

12. The Political Right 


13. Union-State Legislative Ties 

14. Union-State managerial and financial partnerships 


15. ‘Executive’ and Civil Servant Defense 

16. Commissions and Tribunals for Public Service 


17. Under the Indian Constitution (Powers, Authority and Procedure), ‘Judiciary’ 

18. Democracy of Courts 


Revision and Assessment 


19. Appointments and Responsibility for Judicial Affairs-II 

20. Political and Transparency Appointments-II- NJAC Decision and Path Forward 


 21. Panchayats, Cities and Co-Operative Societies 

22. In India, polls 


23. Provisions of Crisis 

24. Amendment of the Constitution and Fundamental Structure Doctrine 


25. Areas Scheduled and Tribal 

26. Giving States Special Status (J & K) and Special Provisions 


27. English Official 

28. Inter-state Commerce and Exchange 


29. Special Rules concerning the Territory of the Union 

30. Delhi’s National Capital Area 


Revision, Assessment, and Evaluation

3. The Presidency and the Shape of the Supreme Court

Free Online Course (Audit)

Language: English

Duration: 5 weeks long, 3-4 hours a week

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This course is focused on a different side of the law from other classes focusing on regulations.

Rather than analyzing the outcome of a court case solely, we will examine how politics, the democratic structures that form American democracy, typically form law and court decisions directly.

It is a mechanism that has been dubbed the “political creation of law” by a certain community of academics.

In other words, judicial rulings, particularly those of the United States Supreme Court, should not be treated as independent and distinct from the politics that formed them.

And we will aim to understand why, in this course. 

More precisely, in this course, we will discuss the role of American presidents in this political law-building phase.

First of all, we will recognize Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon’s presidencies, both of which have effectively influenced the Supreme Court to further their political and ideological goals.

In order to radically change civil law, we then switch to the more recent conservative movement; this was an initiative initiated by Ronald Reagan and advanced by both President George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

We will discuss current developments that have and will continue to form the Supreme Court at both the beginning and the end of the course.

Including the 2016 presidential election, the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the appointment of his replacement, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the possibility of further exits during Donald Trump’s presidency.

We will also discuss several topics, including abortion, human rights and religious liberties, gun rights, and same-sex marriage, as we consider these presidencies.

4. Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases

University of Pennsylvania via Coursera Help

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Language: English

Certificate: Paid Certificate Available

Duration: 4 weeks long, 4-6 hours a week

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An introduction to the U.S. offers this course. Constitution and seminal decisions of the Supreme Court interpreting the constitution.

It discusses the history of the Constitution, its modifications through the years, and constitutional interpretation processes.

Topics cover the federal government’s essence and structure, the federal government’s powers, and human rights.

Syllabus Service

The Constitution with Three Governing Branches 

Classes 1, 2, and 3 explore why we need a Constitution and the history preceding its creation.

You can hear from the two contradictory lessons learned from the Revolt by the founders and the collapse of the Articles of Confederation:

If it is too strong, the national government will become a dictator, but if it is too weak, the country can fall apart.

These lectures discuss how in the original Constitution and the many compromises it contains, the drafters tried to balance these issues.

To view the Constitution, you can also hear about two approaches: originalism and living constitutionalism.

The powers of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government and the separation of powers between those branches are explored in Classes 4, 5, and 6.

The Framers granted minimal powers to the federal government and split those powers among the three branches to preserve individual rights and state authority. 

Modifications and the First Amendment 

First, this section discusses constitutional changes, including the Bill of Rights and Changes to the Restoration and Democratic Period.

We would then take a closer look at one of the most significant changes: the first one.

We will hear about the legal guarantees for expression and faith, how they have evolved, and how they adapt under particular situations.

Finally, in today’s culture, we will hear about the Establishment Clause and what it entails.

Crime Practice and Nationalism and Federalism 

We continue by looking at another very relevant set of constitutional provisions: the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments, which protect the rights of people convicted of having committed crimes.

Such amendments shield us from arbitrary searches, pledge our freedom to remain quiet in the face of the police investigation, and allow us to seek the assistance of counsel and jury trials.

Such protections are central to our criminal justice system. 

We would then turn our attention to the Second Amendment study, the freedom to bear arms and integration.

The Ninth and Tenth Amendments, unenumerated rights, and the rights of states will also be debated and the effects of the Civil War and Reconciliation for the balance of power between the federal government and the states will be considered.

The 14th Amendment and Contemporary Scandals 

The first three lessons recognize the 14th Amendment’s equal protection and due process provisions.

We will continue by addressing racial profiling and the equal rights viewpoints on anti-classification and anti-subordination.

Next, sex inequality and the right to an abortion arising from the clause of due process will be discussed.

Finally, we will discuss discrimination based on sexual identity and the societal progression in the United States of various civil rights movements.

In this module, the final three lessons consider some modern constitutional controversies. Next, we’ll hear about the forces of the presidential war.

First, in the sense of campaign finance reform, we can discuss free expression.

Lastly, with an emphasis on health care reform, we will address federal political influence.

5. American Government: Constitutional Foundations

Harvard University via 

Free Online Course (Audit)

Language: English

Certificate: $49 Certificate Available

Duration: 4 weeks long, 2-4 hours a week

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Part of

U.S. Government


The opening words of the U.S. are “We the People” Constitution, but in the election of their representatives, the initial constitution did not give voters any say.

While some of these issues have been resolved, the control of the vote is still limited by significant challenges, such as gerrymandering, voter registration, and voter ID rules.

About why? How can a society, built on the values of liberty, democracy, and individualism more than 200 years ago, still fail to empower all its people equally? 

This course discusses the roots of the political culture of the United States, how that culture influenced the Constitution, and how that structure continues to affect the politics and policies of the world.

We will discuss the provisions of the Constitution for the limited rule, the separation of authority between the federal and state governments, and the powers that have made political disagreement and reform a source of federalism.

In addition to defining the foundation of the U.S. government, we will discuss how the Constitution protects personal liberties and human rights.

In critical Supreme Court decisions, these protections have been questioned and extended, which may serve to demonstrate how traditionally marginalized communities have failed to understand the guarantee of freedom of the 14th Amendment. 

Syllabus Services 

Week 1: 

Political Culture This session will discuss the roots of the political culture of the country, its adoption by any successive generation of Americans, and its continued impact on the politics and policies of the country.

To demonstrate its effect, U.S. welfare and education policies would be included.

The session also reflects the meaning of governance, the mechanism by which society addresses its disagreements over finite resources, and competing ideals.

Week 2: 

Restricted Government This session will discuss the limited government provisions of the Constitution and then analyze the degree to which these provisions have curbed violations of constitutional authority.

A variety of cases, including the Watergate affair, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and the Bush Administration’s treatment of enemy captives following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, would strengthen the key points of the conference. 

Week 3:

Representative Government this session will discuss the reasons why the framers found it appropriate to curb mainstream power, explain how and why the original system shifted, and look at current obstacles that hinder voting: gerrymandering, voter registration, and voter ID rules.

Week 4: 

In order to make federalism a center of political tension and reform, the session would clarify the separation of power between federal and state governments and how narrowly worded statutory provisions, party divisions, and shifting national needs, have been integrated.

The constitutional controversy provoked by the 2010 healthcare reform act is among the cases discussed in this session. 

Week 5: 

Civil Liberty This session will look at these trends and discuss the fundamental rights enjoyed by Americans today.

Significant Supreme Court decisions will be addressed as a way of clarifying the civil rights of Americans, such as those relating to free expression and freedom from arbitrary search and seizure.

Week 6: 

Civil Rights This session will focus on three initiatives that have been instrumental in improving vulnerable communities’ rights and opportunities:

The equal justice provision of the 14th Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and affirmative action.

The last of these measures are especially divisive and we will take a close look at it, including a new decision by the Supreme Court in a case involving the University of Texas at Austin.

6. Constitutional Law

Yale University via Coursera 

Free Online Course (Audit)

Language: English

Certificate: Certificate Available

Duration: 12-15 hours a week

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This course is intended to expose you to the United States Constitution, one of the most important documents in human history.

Why and how, in the 1780s, did this text come into existence? Over the years, how and why has it been amended?

Who’s determining what this means? What are the ground rules for the correct application of the constitution?

Does the written Constitution communicate with unwritten documents such as court rulings, presidential proclamations, milestone laws, and prevalent public understandings of constitutional authority? 

Syllabus Services 

This course will run from January 27 to early May (we are likely to provide you with time to complete your final writing assignment after the publication of the final lectures [April 21-25]).

Please notice that from March 9 to 14, we will be taking a spring break.

Weeks 1-6 will cover stuff from the book America’s Constitution: A Biography.

Weeks 7-12 will cover content from the book The Unwritten Constitution of America. Per week, we will discuss two topics in chapters.

We will also provide each week with “bonus material”. This material can vary in nature.

It may be Professor Amar’s video chat with students or colleagues. And it could also be a video chat with the teaching assistant’s life.

In the same fashion, it could be one hour in one of the chat groups where the TAs answer questions in real-time. 

There will be 3 choices for each writing assignment; you can pick one choice to apply.

When reviewing the assignments of your colleagues, please make sure that you grade the same choice you chose.

For example, if you have submitted an “Essay 1 (Option 3)” task, you can only evaluate other students who have submitted Option 3.

Week 1

Monday, January 27: Video lectures issued for “In the Beginning” 

Wednesday, January 29: Bonus content launched for “In the Beginning” 

Wednesday, January 29: Video lectures published on “New Laws for a New Era” 

Friday, January 31: Bonus content launched for “New Rules for a New World” 

Week 2 

Monday, February 3: Video lectures issued by “Congressional Forces” and “America’s First Cop” 

Wednesday, February 5: Bonus material launched for “Congressional Forces” 

Friday, February 7: Bonus content announced for “America’s First Man” 

Week 3

February 10, Monday: Quiz # 1 Published 

Monday, February 10: Video lectures issued by “Presidential Authorities” and “Judges and Juries” 

Friday, February 14: Released bonus material 

Week 4 

Monday, February 17: Quiz # 1 Due In Order To Be Full Credit Worthy 

“Monday, February 17: video lectures issued on” States and Territories “and” The Rule of the Land 

February 21, Friday: bonus content released 

Week 5 

Monday, February 24: Assignment # 1 Writing Published 

  • Quiz # 1 Due To Be Partial-Credit Eligible (5 percent late penalty per day) 
  • Released video lectures on “Making Amends” and “A New Birth of Democracy” 

February 28, Friday: bonus content released

Week 6 

Monday, March 3: Writing Task # 1 due: Task Writing # 1 Appraisal Phase Begins 

Monday, March 3: Video lectures issued on “Progressive Changes” and “New Steps” 

Friday, March 7: Published bonus material 

Sunday, March 9: Task Writing # 1 Assessment Cycle Ends 


Week 7 

March 17, Monday: Quiz # 2 Published. 

Monday, March 17: video lectures issued by” Reading Between the Lines and “Heeding the Deed”

Friday 21 March: Published bonus material 

Week 8

Monday, March 24: Quiz # 2 to be eligible for full credit Due In Order 

Monday, March 24: Video lectures issued on “Hearing the Public” and “Confronting Contemporary Case Law” 

Friday 28 March: Published bonus material

Week 9 

Monday, March 31: Publication of Writing Assignment # 2 

  • Quiz # 2 Due In Order to be Partial-Credit Eligible (5 percent late penalty per day) 
  • Video lectures issued on” Putting Precedent in its Place “and” Honoring the Icons 

Friday, April 4th: bonus content released 

Week 10

Monday, April 7: Writing Task # 2 Appraisal Phase Begins 

Monday, April 7: Released video lectures on Remembering the Girls and Following Washington’s Lead

Friday, April 11: Published bonus material 

Sunday, April 13: Writing Task # 2 Period of Assessment Ends 

Week 11

April 14, Monday: Quiz # 3 Published 

Monday, April 14: Video lectures issued on Interpreting Government Practices and Joining the Party

Friday, April 18: Published bonus material

Week 12 and Beyond 

April 21 Monday: Questionnaire # 3 Due To Be Considered For Full Credit 

April 21, Monday: Writing Assignment # 3 Published 

Monday, April 21: Video lectures issued on Doing the Right Thing and Envisioning the Future

Friday, April 25: Published bonus material 

Monday, April 28: Writing Assignment # 3 Due; Writing Assignment # 3

Review Phase Begins; Quiz # 3 Due To Be Partial-Credit Worthy (5 percent late penalty per day) 

Sunday, May 4: Writing Assignment # 3 Duration of Assessment Ends

About This Course

Through the institution of judicial review, the limits on federal judicial authority, the statutory functions of the legislative and executive branches, due process of justice, and human privileges under the Constitution.

And also the Bill of Privileges, you will be exposed to the fundamentals of the federal constitution. Possible U.S. trends for the future will also be discussed by the Supreme Court.

This course would concentrate on human civil liberties and allegations of 42 U.S.C. section 1983, stressing remedies for violations of the protections of the Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution. 

This course is meant to include an introduction to the Constitution of the United States and its Modifications.

The allocation of powers, the structure of checks and balances, and the principles of human freedom, liberty, and security would be discussed by students.

A clearer understanding of the Bill of Rights can also be gained by students through this course.

Course Objectives

Via satisfactory completion of all necessary coursework and tasks, learners can show the following abilities:

  • Explain the U.S. general provisions and values. Constitutions 
  • Discuss judicial audit and its limits 
  • Identify the federal jurisdictional components 
  • Examine the extent of Congressional domestic control in finance, taxes, and spending 
  • Discuss cross-government immunities 
  • Explain the extent of state control 
  • Describe in domestic and international arenas the reach of executive authority 
  • Explain the factual due process 
  • Discuss procedural due process protocols 
  • Examine the contrast between the old equal rights approach and the current equal protection approach. 
  • Identify the conditions for deciding which groups have the right to equal treatment 
  • Explain the constitutional protections that underlie equal treatment 
  • Discuss the reasoning behind speech defense 
  • Examine the basic provisions of the free expression doctrine. 
  • Discuss how the apparent and current doctrine of risk applies to freedom of speech
  • Identify the requirements which define whether the First Amendment protects a type of symbolic action. 
  • Discuss the fundamentals of freedom of association and conviction. 
  • Explain if the freedom of expression doctrine is applied to the local platform, commercial speech, slander, obscenity, press freedom, and political speech. 
  • Explain the clause on the establishment 
  • Discuss how state assistance to religion applies to the establishment clause 
  • Discuss how the establishment clause applies to trust in schools and outside schools. 
  • Examine the idea of free religious exercise 
  • Discuss the theory of state intervention 
  • Discuss Congress’ power to enact the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments
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Students are expected to devote an average of 10 hours to reading and finishing writing activities each week.

For this online course, please notice that extensions will not be given. On all assessments and assignments for this course, 70 percent is the required passing grade.

If they have the time, students can consider working ahead of the curriculum. Coursework in Civil Law is equal to a research time of 45 clocks. 


Completion of Paralegal I and II effectively, or similar, or experience. 

Books on Course 

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Textbooks required for this course: 

  • Constitutional Law, in a Nutshell, St Paul: West Community by Barron & Dienes, new edition. 

Judicial Services Highly Recommended: 

  • Oran’s Dictionary of the Law by Daniel Oran, 4th Edition. Clifton Park: Learning by Delmar Cengage 
  • WESTLAW, legal study access, usable for just $89 for the length of the course. 


Students will be expected to spend an average of 10 hours per week reading and completing writing assignments.

Please note that extensions will not be granted for this online course. 70% is the minimum passing score on all tests and assignments for this course.

Students may consider working ahead in the curriculum if they have the time.

Additionally, coursework in Constitutional Law is equivalent to 45 clock hours of study.

Assignments for Lesson Topics Reading: 

Lesson One: Constitution and Study of the Judiciary 

Learn Twice, using a highlighter for the second reading of The Constitution of the United States, which takes place in a Nutshell (Nutshell) directly after the Table of Cases in Constitutional Law 

Learn the introduction and Nutshell Chapter 1 

Lesson Two: Allocation of Powers 

  • Read Nutshell Chapters 2, 3 & 4 

Lesson Three: Phase Due 

  • Read Nutshell Chapter 5 

Lesson Four: Defense Equivalent 

  • Learn Chapter 6
  • Read the cases below: Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 US 537, 16 S.Ct. 1138, L.Ed 41. Brown v. Board of Ed. 256 (1896) 347 US 483, 74 S.Ct. Of Topeka, 347 686, 98 from L.Ed. 873, O.O. 53. Number 326 (1954) 

Lesson Five: Liberty of Speech 

  • Interpret Chapter 7 in a nutshell 

Lesson Six: Freedom of Religion; Governmental Action; Congressional Human Rights and Liberties Aid Laws 

  • Read Chapters 8, 9 & 10 • 

Assignments for Writing: 

You will apply a 50-point quick response assignment for each lecture, addressing the topics in the reading of that lecture. 


Two tests will be passed by you. They’re worth 100 points each. With your Lesson Three Assignments, the Mid-term Test must be presented; with your Lesson Six Assignments, the Final Test must be submitted. 

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Assignments from the Bulletin Board: 

You will also post the answers to three class involvement challenges worth 20 points each. These activities are classified as Contributions from the Bulletin Board. 

In the Lesson Materials, all lesson goals, tasks, and assessments can be included.


Your ranking will be based on six writing assignments, two tests, and class participation / Bulletin Board Submissions completed by you.

You can access the exams and writing assignments from within the lesson material, or by selecting ‘Assignments’ under Right Side Bar Activities.

By using the Bulletin Board tool to respond to the bulletin board assignments during the course, you will have the ability to participate in “class participation”.

In addition, the comprehension of the reading content can be strengthened by engaging in the bulletin board assignments. 

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Your grades will determine the final rating as follows: 

  • The six writing assignments constitute 40 percent of your ranking. 
  • 40 percent of the ranking comprises the two tests. 
  • 20% of your ranking requires your participation in class participation tasks.

Regulation on Withdrawal 

If a written note is submitted to the Center for Legal Studies via email at [email protected] by the Wednesday before the class starts, students may drop the course with a full tuition refund minus a non-refundable $50 administrative charge.

When written notice is submitted to the Center for Legal Studies via the official email at any point from the Thursday before the course starts before the first Thursday of class, students may drop the course with a 50 percent tuition refund.

No refunds will be given until the first Thursday of class.

Frequently asked Questions

Do Constitutional rights apply to Private action?

Constitutional protections are limitations on the ability of a government to influence you in one way or another (whether at the local, state, or federal level).

They also restrict the jurisdiction of people working on behalf of any country.

Constitutional protections do not, moreover, extend to the acts of a private citizen against you, nor do they extend to your acts as a private entity against anyone. 

However, laws have several different reasons, they are written. Protect from offenses under certain rules.

To protect the atmosphere, there are rules. Any regulations impact companies.

For instance, regulations that expand civil protections against discrimination to private businesses have been enacted by state and federal governments.

Depending on the race, sex, national origin, or religious views, private workers cannot discriminate. Because of their race, private firms, like hotels, do not refuse to serve people.

An individual has many categories of rights, such as civil rights, customary rights, religious rights, civil rights, legal rights, etc. 

Today, for example, religious rights have an origin of religion, traditional rights arise from traditional traditions in a family or culture, and so on. These rights are typically separated based on their origin. 

The bulk of these rights are interdependent and sometimes overlap. 

Now we come to your issue of civil and constitutional rights. A fundamental right is one that comes from the constitution of a country (or any other entity) explicitly and directly.

On the other hand, a civil right may flow from the statute of that nation. 

It would also be fair to claim that legal rights are all fundamental rights, but not all legal rights are constitutional rights.

For the people living in that country, a constitutional right is more fundamental and all other laws and protections flow from the constitution itself (for countries that have a constitution, countries like the United Kingdom that have no written constitution have the parliament as supreme). 

In most cases, a civil right cannot triumph over a constitutional one. 

What meaning a fundamental right is granted depends on how relevant the Constitution is perceived to be. 

The right to freedom of expression is a basic right in the constitution of the U.S., all human rights are constitutional rights in India.

A civil right is specifically secured, but it’s easier to strip away a moral right.

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The State Action Doctrine applies to the provision that the complainant must show that the government (local, state, or federal) was liable for the breach, rather than a private actor, in order for a complainant to stand to sue over a statute being broken. 

This provision applies only if the statute in question specifies that the government has acted. 

This prerequisite of state intervention applies to a variety of acts 

A government, except when implementing laws to expand rights, must remain within the boundaries of fundamental rights.

Therefore, a country could not impose a statute banning persons from saying hurtful words.

The protected freedom to free expression will be limited under such a statute. 

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