We have, once again, come to the end of the semester, and the end of yet another academic year. This certainly has been a, let’s say, interesting, semester for studying the institutions and powers side of constitutional law. Current events have certainly given us a lot to talk about in class, and the students a lot to write about in their blogs. So, let’s wrap up this semester, as the student bloggers have done, on a high note, with another round of top-notch blog posts. Many of these posts either reflect on the blog or the course, or provide a nice close to the semester-long blogging project on their chosen topic.
Kelly F. reflects on the process of blogging this semester, and what she has learned about the Constitution in the process.
Tim and Brad talk about the history, and contemporary, place of marijuana in American laws and politics. Tim’s final post provides an overview for the history of marijuana use, and regulation, in the U.S., bringing us up to where we are today. Brad discusses recent developments regarding the continuing battle over the legalization of marijuana, including Trump’s seeming vacillation on his stance, as well as Senator Schumer’s efforts to shift the federal legal categorization of marijuana.
Tyena and Ryan both examine the costs, and impacts, of immigration on the U.S. Tyena discusses the various impacts of decisions related to immigration, for the individuals involved and for the country. Ryan provides evidence documenting the social and economic costs of those who enter and/or stay in the U.S. illegally.
Kei and Dan touch on other aspects of immigration policy (and not just immigration itself), related to the course and their specific blog topics. Kei explains how George W. Bush’s border fence, and now Trump’s border wall (and other policies) have negatively impacted the various Indian nations, including the Tohono O’odham Nation, whose lands cross the U.S.-Mexico border and what these policies mean for tribal sovereignty. Dan’s final post discusses how questions of immigration and presidential power fit, overall, into a course about constitutional law that looks at institutions and powers.
Just in time for oral arguments in the case (Sung wrote this post before oral arguments last week), and our moot court (that’s this week!) on the same case, Sung explores the legal issues in Trump v. Hawaii.
Hermina, Chelsea, and Kelly S. all look at different aspects of federal and state power, and how these relate back to our current political understanding and practices. Hermina analyzes the recent oral arguments in the Supreme Court case South Dakota v. Wayfair, pertaining to states’ ability to collect sales tax on online sales. Chelsea wraps up her blog by discussing perceptions and practices around judicial review today, which are rather contentious. Kelly S. discusses the case U.S. v. Alvarez and what this case can show us about how the various branches interact on a given issue.
Finally, rounding out this post, and the semester, Annelis writes about the current state of politics involving talks with North Korea, DACA, and gun control, all of which have had recent developments.
This has been another great semester. I want to end here by commending these students for all of their hard work across the semester. This includes, but is not limited to, their stellar work on their blogs. It has been a pleasure to work with this fantastic group of students this semester.