Teaching Constitutional Law will not, and should not, be the same after the presidency of Donald Trump. President Trump conducted his presidency in a manner which disregarded constitutional limits and assaulted basic constitutional principles. At the most conventional level for Constitutional Law courses, the Supreme Court generated new doctrinal responses to some of Trump’s presidential acts. Moreover, Trump’s presidency engaged non-judicial actors in considering how relatively obscure constitutional barriers operated, such as the Emoluments and Pardon Clauses, provisions regarding presidential inability and impeachment, and even segments of the Twelfth Amendment related to the role of the Senate president during the count of electoral votes and of the Fourteenth Amendment regarding Insurrection and Rebellion. Those constitutional texts have traditionally not been part of basic Constitutional Law courses, but now, at least some should be—not simply for their own significance but for questions they raise about the Trump presidency and constitutional interpretation more generally. But in the aftermath of the Trump presidency, Constitutional Law courses should pay greater attention to identifying and exploring basic constitutional principles, many of which the Trump presidency disparaged, and considering the role of norms, conventions, and human behavior in vindicating those values. Finally, the Trump presidency points to a need for law schools, consistent with their missions, to expand their public educational activities regarding foundational constitutional values.
Joel K. Goldstein,
Teaching Constitutional Law After the Trump Presidency,
St. Louis U. L.J.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.slu.edu/lj/vol66/iss3/3