Lectures Watched
Since January 1, 2014
Hundreds of free, self-paced university courses available:
my recommendations here
Peruse my collection of 275
influential people of the past.
View My Class Notes via:
Receive My Class Notes via E-Mail:


Contact Me via E-Mail:
edward [at] tanguay.info
Notes on video lecture:
Structural, Backward-Looking, and Forward-Looking Provisions
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
forward, free, debates, change, slaves, bad, ratified, 18th, Equal, reconciliation, marriage, allowed, society, means, now, evolutionary, lawyers, values, circumstances, Amendment, lodging, segregate, marry, grow, oppressive, different, originalism, times, interracial, change, today, never
how do we know what the Constitution           ?
the people who wrote it believed many things that we don't believe now
that white men could own black             
that the government could deny the vote to          blacks and women
that men should not be allowed to            other men
so in some ways, our constitutions is                    than the framers Constitution
does the fact that our              have changed mean that our understanding of the Constitution should change
or is the meaning fixed for all time?
this is one of the                in constitutional law
meanings of Constitution shouldn't             
cases must be decided the same way today as they would have been when the Constitution was                 
if you want to change it, there is an                    provision to do that
2. "the living constitution"
constitution changes with the           
cases are decided in a way that makes sense for           
the Constitution is intended to last for a long time and has to          with our changing society
you have to look how the constitution's values are applied to today's                           
the Supreme Court has generally followed this kind of                          theory
states used to:
                   public schools and buses and railroad cars by race
ban                        marriage, and prevent women from being               
courts ruled that at various times in history that the Constitution was                states to do all these things
but then without a              to the words of the Constitution, the courts said that states could indeed not do these things
almost no one would be happy if the Supreme Court started to decide cases as they would have been decided back in the          century when the Constitution was ratified
Constitutional meaning does not change over time (Originalist claim)
yet application of rights changes over time (living constitutionalists)
suppose you wanted to make sure that the Senate was respected
the key to respect was dressing well
"While engaged in debate, the Senators shall wear the latest fashions"
so wearing a powdered wig in 2014 would be violating the clause
the clause itself tells you to look to what the people consider to be fashionable at the time
three main types of provisions that you find the Constitution
1. structural provisions
the structure of the government
these meanings don't change
cases comes out the same way today as at ratification
2. backward-looking provisions
look back to something that happened in the past and say: we should            do that again
e.g. banning slavery
e.g. banning the                of troops in people's houses
we experienced these things and decided they were        for the country
3.               -looking provisions
the meaning of the clause doesn't change
but cases may come out differently based on how                has changed
e.g. states can't segregate their schools
e.g. states can't ban interracial                 
the constitutional provision being enforced is the            Protection Clause
prohibits states from engaging in unfair or                      discrimination
the courts say: in deciding what is unfair or oppressive, we are going to look at what people think        and not what they thought hundreds of years ago


######################### (1815-1900)
American congressman who was principal framer of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution which provides that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws
  • Republican congressman from the U.S. state of Ohio
  • judge advocate in the trial of the Abraham Lincoln assassination
  • a prosecutor in the impeachment trials of Andrew Johnson

Spelling Corrections:


Ideas and Concepts:

Via tonight's Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases class, it's hard to imagine that this was happening just a couple decades ago in America: "Anti-miscegenation laws (laws against interracial marriage) were a part of American law since before the United States was established and remained so until ruled unconstitutional in 1967 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia. Typically defining miscegenation as a felony, these state laws prohibited the solemnization of weddings between persons of different races and prohibited the officiating of such ceremonies. All anti-miscegenation laws banned the marriage of whites and non-white groups, primarily blacks, but often also Native Americans and Asians. In 1965, Virginia trial court Judge Leon Bazile, who heard the original case which later went to the Supreme Court, defended racial marital segregation, writing:"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay, and red, and placed them on separate continents, and but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend the races to mix."
Why We Needed a Constitution
Creating the Constitution
Structural, Backward-Looking, and Forward-Looking Provisions
Article I: The Legislative Branch
Article II: The Executive Branch
Article III: The Judicial Branch
The Bill of Rights
The Progressive Amendments: 16, 17, 18, and 19
Freedom of Speech
The Supreme Court and the Free Exercise of Religion Clause
The Establishment Clause
The Fourth Amendment: Protection from Unreasonable Search and Seizure
The Fifth Amendment and the Miranda Warning
The Sixth Amendment