American Constitutional Law, Volume I, 6th Edition

  • Otis H. Stephens, Jr. University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • John M. Scheb, II, Ph.D. Professor of Political Science, University of Tennessee
  • Colin Glennon East Tennessee State University
  • ISBN-10: 1285736915  |  ISBN-13: 9781285736914
  • 480 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2012, 2008, 2003
  • © 2015 | Published
  • List Price = $ 156.95
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AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, Volumes I and II, combines cases, decisions, and authorial commentary to maximize your learning and understanding in this course. These comprehensive volumes cover the entire range of topics in constitutional law. Volume I examines the institutional aspects of constitutional law; Volume II deals with civil rights and liberties. Each of the chapters includes an introductory essay providing the legal, historical, political, and cultural context of Supreme Court jurisprudence in a particular area of constitutional interpretation. Each chapter also contains several boxed features (labeled “Case in Point” and “Sidebar”) to provide additional perspective and context for the set of edited decisions from the United States Supreme Court cases that follow. In selecting, editing, and updating the materials, the authors emphasize recent trends in major areas of constitutional interpretation, as well as many landmark decisions, some of which retain importance as precedents while others illustrate the transient nature of constitutional interpretation. Because the book provides a good balance of decisions and authorial commentary, this text appeals to instructors of law as well as instructors of political science.

Features and Benefits

  • This edition includes acknowledgement of all, or nearly all, of the Court’s consequential decisions made in the last five years.
  • Not merely a casebook, this comprehensive textbook caters to undergraduate constitutional law students by providing historical and biographical background information that is crucial to understanding the principle that is set in each case.
  • Dissenting and concurring opinions are included to reveal the political struggle among Justices.
  • A companion Web site includes links to a Supreme Court archive of cases—giving students the freedom to explore additional cases while offering instructors the chance to take their course beyond the textbook.
  • Pedagogy includes key terms, section-ending summaries to help keep the student on track as they read through each chapter, and suggested Internet resources to encourage further study.

Table of Contents

Volume 1 Table of Contents.
Historical Background.
The Constitutional Convention.
The Battle over Ratification.
Key Features of the Constitution.
The Enduring Constitution.
Key Terms.
For Further Reading.
The Federalist No. 10.
The Federalist No. 47.
The Courts: Crucibles of Constitutional Law.
Access to Judicial Review.
The Supreme Court’s Decision Making Process.
The Development of Judicial Review.
Judicial Activism and Restraint.
External Constraints on Judicial Power.
Explaining the Court’s Behavior.
Key Terms.
For Further Reading.
The Federalist No. 78.
Marbury v. Madison (1803).
Eakin v. Raub (1825).
Scott v. Sandford (1857).
Ex parte McCardle (1869).
Cooper v. Aaron (1958).
Baker v. Carr (1962).
Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow (2004).
Structural Aspects of Congress.
Constitutional Sources of Congressional Power.
The Power to Investigate.
Regulation of Interstate Commerce.
Taxing and Spending Powers.
Congressional Enforcement of Civil Rights and Liberties.
Key Terms.
For Further Reading.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819).
Watkins v. United States (1957).
Barenblatt v. United States (1959).
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824).
Hammer v. Dagenhart (1918).
Carter v. Carter Coal Company (1936).
National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation (1937).
Wickard v. Filburn (1942).
Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (1964).
Katzenbach v. McClung (1964).
United States v. Lopez (1995).
Gonzales v. Raich (2005).
National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius (2012).
United States v. Butler (1936).
Steward Machine Company v. Davis (1937).
South Dakota v. Dole (1987).
South Carolina v. Katzenbach (1966).
City of Boerne v. Flores (1997).
Structural Aspects of the Presidency.
Theories of Presidential Power.
The Veto Power.
Appointment and Removal Powers.
The Power to Grant Pardons.
Executive Privilege.
Presidential Immunity.
Foreign Policy and International Relations.
War Powers.
Key Terms.
For Further Reading.
The Federalist No. 70.
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company v. Sawyer (1952).
Wiener v. United States (1958).
United States v. Nixon (1974).
Clinton v. Jones (1997).
United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation (1936).
Dames & Moore v. Regan (1981).
The Prize Cases (1863).
Korematsu v. United States (1944).
Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006).
United States v. United States District Court (1972).
Delegation of Legislative Power.
Additional Separation of Powers Concerns.
Congressional Control of Administrative Actions.
Presidential Control of the Bureaucracy.
Judicial Oversight over the Administrative State.
Agency Actions and Individual Rights.
Key Terms.
For Further Reading.
J. W. Hampton & Company v. United States (1928).
Schechter Poultry Corporation v. United States (1935).
Mistretta v. United States (1989).
Whitman v. American Trucking Associations (2001).
Citizens for Abatement of Aircraft Noise (1991).
Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha (1983).
Gonzales v. Oregon (2006).
Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corporation v. Natural Resources Defense Council (1978).
Goldberg v. Kelly (1970).
Mathews v. Eldridge (1976).
Development of the Federal System.
Federalism in the Modern Era.
The Commerce Clause and State Regulatory Authority.
State Taxing Power.
Interstate Relations.
Key Terms.
For Further Reading.
Chisholm v. Georgia (1793).
Texas v. White (1869).
United States v. Darby (1941).
Arizona v. United States (2012).
National League of Cities v. Usery (1976).
Garcia v. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (1985).
Printz v. United States (1997).
Tennessee v. Lane (2004).
Cooley v. Board of Port Wardens (1852).
Oregon Waste Systems v. Department of Environmental Quality (1994).
Granholm v. Heald (2005).

What's New

  • New! Cases have been updated and new cases have been added to reflect the most significant recent decisions of the Supreme Court, as well as other major constitutional developments in the last several years, including the recent controversies over “Obamacare,” illegal immigration, gun control, terrorism, gay rights/same-sex marriage, and campaign finance.
  • New! The organization of Volume I has expanded the introduction into a full-blown chapter that provides more depth in coverage of the adoption and ratification of the Constitution, as well as a more thorough overview of its contents. This new Chapter 1 also includes edited versions of three of James Madison’s most influential essays from the Federalist Papers.
  • New! The website has been updated with additional cases not found in the book.
  • New! The instructor’s manual has been updated with new test questions and new sections on how to introduce a lecture topic to the class.
  • New! The student website now contains tutorial quizzes, glossaries, crossword puzzles, and flashcards, all correlated by chapter.

Efficacy and Outcomes


"Easy to understand, great introduction to chapters, very student friendly."

— Kimberly Hutson, Norfolk State University

"Extremely well-written, and the language is crisp and clear. The introductory material for each section, in particular, is noteworthy."

— Patricia Gormley, Florida International University


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

Instructor's Web Site  (ISBN-10: 1285736958 | ISBN-13: 9781285736952)

The Instructor's Manual / Test Bank contains for each chapter: Notes on each excerpted case in the chapter; a list of critical thinking questions for classroom discussion; 50 multiple choice questions and answers; essay questions; hypothetical problems for classroom discussion or essay responses; a series of lecture launchers to start class out; an outline; a list of key terms; and a suggested list of readings and Web resources.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Otis H. Stephens, Jr.

Otis H. Stephens, Jr. is Alumni Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science and Resident Scholar of Constitutional Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law. Professor Stephens holds a Ph.D. in political science from Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from the University of Tennessee. Professor Stephens is the author of THE SUPREME COURT AND CONFESSIONS OF GUILT(1973) and co-author, with Gregory J. Rathjen, of THE SUPREME COURT AND THEALLOCATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL POWER (1980) and, with John M. Scheb II, of AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: ESSAYS AND CASES (1988). He is co-author with Richard A. Glenn of UNREASONABLE SEARCHES AND SEIZURES: RIGHTS ANDLIBERTIES UNDER THE LAW (2006). He is co-editor with John M. Scheb II and Kara A. Stookesbury of ENCYLCOPEDIA OF AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERTIESVOLUMES I-III (2006). He has contributed chapters to COMPARATIVE HUMANRIGHTS, ed. Richard A. Claude (1976) and THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION ANDHUMAN RIGHTS, ed. Tinsely E. Yarborugh (1985) and AMERICAN NATIONALSECURITY AND CIVIL LIBERTIES IN AN ERA OF TERRORISM, eds. David B. Cohen and John W. Wells (2004) and to LAW TOUCHED OUR HEARTS: A GENERATIONREMEMBERS BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION, eds. Mildred Wigfall Robinson and Richard J. Bonnie (2009). He has also authored or co-authored a number of articles in professional journals, including the GEORGETOWN LAW JOURNAL, the JOURNALOF PUBLIC LAW, the TENNESSEE LAW REVIEW, the WIDNER JOURNAL OF PUBLICLAW, the SOUTHEASTERN POLITICAL REVIEW, and the CRIMINAL LAW BULLETIN. Dr. Stephens is also a member of the Tennessee Bar and of the United States Supreme Court Bar. Professor Stephens now teaches full time for the UT College of Law. PUBLIC LAW, the TENNESSEE LAW REVIEW, the WIDNER JOURNAL OFPUBLIC LAW, the SOUTHEASTERN POLITICAL REVIEW, and the CRIMINAL LAWBULLETIN. Dr. Stephens is also a member of the Tennessee Bar. Professor Stephens now teaches full time for the UT College of Law.

John M. Scheb, II, Ph.D.

John M. Scheb, II attended the University of Florida, where he received a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in political science. He is now Professor and Head of Political Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he specializes in public law, courts, and the judicial process. Professor Scheb has authored numerous articles in professional journals and is coauthor of several other textbooks, including: AN INTRODUCTION TO THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM, 3rd Edition (Wolters Kluwer, 2013), LAW AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2005), and AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, 6th Edition (Wadsworth/Cengage, 2014).

Colin Glennon

Colin Glennon is Assistant Professor of Political Science at East Tennessee State University, where he teaches courses in American government, constitutional law, the judicial process, law and society and American political institutions. Professor Glennon received his PhD from the University of Tennessee in 2011. He has authored or coauthored articles in a number of professional journals. His research interests include American political institutions, judicial politics, public law, federalism in the courts, public policy in the courts, the impact of public opinion on judicial outcomes, judicial public policy, and state court administration.