About this Course
4.8
153 ratings
46 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 20 hours to complete

Suggested: 12-15 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Chinese (Simplified)...
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 20 hours to complete

Suggested: 12-15 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, Chinese (Simplified)...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Introduction

Hello everyone and welcome to America’s Unwritten Constitution! This course is designed to teach you some of the basic tool and techniques for constitutional interpretation. Over the next 13 modules, Professor Akhil Amar will teach you how to go beyond the text of the U.S. Constitution, while still remaining faithful to it. Please, take some time to watch the two introductory videos and read through some of the course information below. Enjoy!...
Reading
2 videos (Total 24 min), 7 readings
Video2 videos
America's Unwritten Constitution Introduction21m
Reading7 readings
Pre-Course Survey10m
Begin Here10m
Meet the Instructor10m
Grading and Logistics10m
Bonus Material10m
Suggested Readings10m
The United States Constitution10m
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Heeding the Deed

Heeding the Deed, refers to the technique of understanding the Constitution further by looking at issues the nation was dealing with at the time of the passage's adoption. Another way to say this could be; putting yourself in the framer's shoes. ...
Reading
2 videos (Total 46 min)
Video2 videos
Heeding the Deed, Part 223m
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Reading Between the Lines

This module teaches the interpretive technique of reading between the lines. This involves extracting, from the text, things that are implicit, but not expressly stated. ...
Reading
2 videos (Total 50 min)
Video2 videos
Reading Between the Lines, Part 226m
Week
2
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Hearing the People

In this module, we explore a number of unenumerated rights that exist simply because Americans embody these rights in their everyday lives. Owning pets, using contraception, testifying at one’s own trial, none of these are explicitly mentioned in the text of the Constitution, yet today, they are recognized as protected fundamental rights. Professor Amar explains why....
Reading
2 videos (Total 49 min)
Video2 videos
Hearing the People, Part 222m
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Confronting Modern Case Law

The "Confronting Modern Case Law" lectures take a closer look at the Warren-lead Supreme Court. Spanning from 1953 to 1969, his court decided many of the most influential cases is U.S. history. Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, Griswold v. Connecticut to name a few. Professor Amar, will discuss how the court arrived at their decisions, how these rulings changed American society at the time and how they are still affecting it today....
Reading
2 videos (Total 59 min), 1 quiz
Video2 videos
Confronting Modern Case Law, Part 228m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Mastery Quiz 118m
Week
3
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Putting Precedent in its Place

Professor Amar discusses the role that precedent—that is, prior court decisions—plays in our understanding of the document. He will answer questions about how far courts should go when interpreting the Constitution, and what courts might do when they believe that a prior decision was incorrect....
Reading
2 videos (Total 49 min)
Video2 videos
Putting Precedent in Its Place, Part 223m
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Honoring the Icons

Here we'll examine documents outside of the Constitution that influence our understanding of the founding text—things like the Declaration of Independence, The Federalist papers, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream speech. Professor Amar will explain how these sources have offered meaning and guidance in constitutional interpretation....
Reading
2 videos (Total 51 min), 1 quiz
Video2 videos
Honoring the Icons, Part 222m
Week
4
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Remembering the Ladies

These lectures explore the profound changes American society underwent immediately following the ratification of the 19th amendment. The reverberations of women's enfranchisement are still being strongly felt today. Prof. Amar will highlight some legislation, he believes, directly or indirectly owe their existence to the 19th amendment....
Reading
2 videos (Total 49 min)
Video2 videos
"Remembering the Ladies," Part 225m
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

Following Washington's Lead

Undoubtedly, the figure who looms largest in U.S. political history is George Washington. His actions before, during, and after the Presidency set precedents for the executive office which are still observed today. Prof. Amar will explain why Article II of the Constitution was custom written for our first president. ...
Reading
2 videos (Total 44 min), 1 quiz
Video2 videos
Following Washington's Lead, Part 220m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Mastery Quiz 214m
4.8

Top Reviews

By WLSep 19th 2017

This is an exceptional course taught by a masterful constitutional scholar. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to learn more about America's Unwritten Constitution and its

By EBJun 21st 2017

Professor Amar was a delightful and informative instructor I thoroughly enjoyed the course materials and all that I learned about the US and it's Constitution.

Instructor

Avatar

Akhil Reed Amar

Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science
Yale Law School

About Yale University

For more than 300 years, Yale University has inspired the minds that inspire the world. Based in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale brings people and ideas together for positive impact around the globe. A research university that focuses on students and encourages learning as an essential way of life, Yale is a place for connection, creativity, and innovation among cultures and across disciplines. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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