University of Miami School of Law CourseLink Course Description - Online System
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Spring 2020

Course Description
One or two credits

Beginning January 20th, the course will meet once a week for two hours every week for six weeks. Depending on the results of negotiations in December and early January, the course may begin before Senate proceedings, may substantially overlap a Senate trial of President Trump, or may continue for a considerable while past a possible quick Senate resolution.

The Trump impeachment, much as did the impeachment of President Clinton, occurs within and appears to reinforce increasingly rigorous party division in American politics. If President Trump like Clinton is not convicted and removed from office we may want to think hard about the significance of impeachment without conviction as a recurring phenomenon going forward. Is this a constitutional device of some real usefulness? What are its elements and dynamics? Is it especially clear evidence that our politics is troublingly different from politics as it was understood in 1787? Even though political parties and organized division were invented and exploited rather soon after our federal constitutional regime came on line? Questions like these will organize discussion against the backdrop of the Senate proceedings.

The materials of the course will consist mainly of public domain sources. Students who wish to take the course for one credit will need to write an essay (a take home exam) at a time to be declared near the end of the course. (If the Senate trial turns out to be elaborate, it may make sense to lag the essay exercise). If students are interested in meeting written work obligations, they may instead substitute a two-credit paper in consultation with the instructor, beginning while the course is still underway (therefore before spring break).

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
01-13-2020 - 02-24-2020   M  3:30 PM-5:20 PM G363

Course Frequency

Course Information

Credits: 1
Pass/Fail Option: Yes
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Take home Exam and/or two - credit paper
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Writing Requirement
Special Attributes:
New Course
Course Delivery:

Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s): None
Bar Subject(s): None
Concentration(s): None
Course Book(s): TBD/None      
First Class Assignment(s):
  • Assignment: For the first class, please read the pertinent chapter in Thomas Jefferson's Manual of Parliamentary Practice (2d ed. 1812) that I have attached with this assignment post.

    As distributed....

    Jefferson ch. 53.docx



Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-2261
Office: G365