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Chapter 1 Critical Legal Thinking

and the U. S. Constitution


1. Define Law

2. List and describe the functions of law

3. Explain the development of the U. S. legal system

4. List and describe the sources of law in the United


5. Describe the concept of federalism and the doctrine

of separation of powers

6. Apply critical legal thinking in analyzing judicial


7. Define and apply the supremacy Clause of the U. S.


8. Explain the federal government's authority to

regulate interstate and foreign commerce under the

Commerce Clause

9. Explain state and local governments' authority to

regulate commerce under their "police power."

10. List and describe the major protections afforded by

the Bill of Rights.


I. What is LAW?

A. Definition of Law

B. Functions of Law

C. Flexibility of Law

D. Fairness of Law


II. Schools of Jurisprudential thought.

A. The Natural School

B. The Historical School

C. The Analytical School

D. The Sociological School

E. The Command School


III. History of American Law.

A. The English Common Law

1. Law Courts

2. Chancery (Equity) Courts

3. Merchant Courts

B. Adoption of English Common Law in America


IV. Sources of Law in the United States.

A. Constitutions

B. Treaties

C. Codified Law

D. Regulations and Orders of Administrative Agencies

E. Executive Orders

F. Judicial Decisions

G. Priority of Law in the United States


V. Critical Legal Thinking.

A. Key Terms

B. Briefing a Case


VI. The Constitution and Business.

A. Basic Constitutional Concepts

1. federalism

2. enumerated powers

3. separation of powers

4. checks and balances


VII. The Supremacy Clause.

A. The supremacy Clause

1. preemption doctrine


VIII. The Commerce Clause.

A. Federal Regulation of Foreign Commerce

B. Federal Regulation of Interstate Commerce

C. State and Local government Regulation of Business--

State "police power."


IX. The Bill of Rights and Business.

A. The Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment

B. Freedom of Speech

C. Freedom of Religion


X. Other Constitutional Clauses and Business.

A. The Equal Protection Clause

B. The Privileges and Immunities Clause