Course Syllabus
Introduction to American Public Law
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Errol Meidinger
Professor and Vice Dean of Law
Adjunct Professor of Sociology
State University of New York at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100, USA
1-716-645-6692; fax: 716-645-2064

Honorarprofessor für Forst- und Umweltwissenschaften
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität, Tennenbacher Str. 4 
79106 Freiburg im Breisgau, Deutschland
49(0)761/203-3783; fax:

Overview of the Course

Purpose This course is designed to introduce German law students to the primary structures, actors, processes, and principles of American public law. The topic is far too extensive to permit detailed examination in a semester, let alone a week. Still, students should come away with a working sense of the system and how they could find more information on it to address specific questions.

Teaching Method The Course will be taught in English. Most of the information will be conveyed through lectures and discussions. However, to prevent the lectures and discussions from being overly abstract or vague, they will be based on a few carefully selected readings. The readings are posted on this website, hyperlinked through the topical outline below.

Requirements Each student will be expected to do the following:

Meeting Time   16.00 to 19.00 daily, January 12-16, 2004

Meeting Place  HS2408

Syllabus [This syllabus contains the primary readings for the course. It may be further elaborated to reflect the content of lectures and discussion.]

Day 1  The Structure of American Government

    Basic Constitutional Provisions -- Read US Constitution, Articles I, II, III
    The Organization of Government
    Separation of Powers -- Read Mistretta v. U.S.
    The Place of Agencies

Day 2   Procedural Forms of Administrative Action

        Reference: Administrative Procedure Act (no need to read in advance)
        Protected Interests: Board of Regents v. Roth
        Required Procedures: Mathews v. Eldridge
        Heckler v. Campbell

Day 3   Public Participation in Agency Policy Making

    Chocolate Manufacturers Ass'n v. Block (see also the APA)
    United States v. Nova Scotia Food Products Corp.
    Additional References:
        Negotiated Rulemaking Act

Day 4   Judicial Review of Administrative Action

    Access to Judicial Review
        Reviewability: Heckler v. Cheney
        Standing: Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife
    Scope of Judicial Review
        Statutory Interpretation: Chevron v. NRDC
        Rationality: Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Assn v. State Farm Insurance

Day 5   Reserved for Further Discussion and Possible Additional Topics that May Arise During the First Four Classes