George S. Isaacson
Teaching this semester
GOV 2480. Comparative Constitutional Law
A comparative examination of constitutional principles and constitutional processes in democratic and non-democratic countries. Explores the roles that constitutions play in shaping civil society and defining the relationship between governments and the people they govern. Compares American constitutional law with that of other nations to scrutinize alternative models of governance, and to gain new perspectives regarding the legal foundations for the protection of individual rights. Special attention given to the constitutions of Canada, India, Germany, South Africa, Israel, and the People’s Republic of China, along with that of the United States. Structural issues include consideration of executive-legislative separation of powers, constitutional courts, federalism, and church-state relations. Discusses arguments in favor of and against a written Bill of Rights, as well as such specific issues as emergency powers, political dissent, hate speech, religious belief, reproductive choice, racial and gender discrimination, public welfare, privacy, and police investigative authority.
For over three decades, George Isaacson has been an adjunct faculty member teaching in both the Department of Government and Legal Studies and the Department of Education. He has taught courses on Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Education and Law, and Mental Health Law.
Following his graduation from law school, and prior to entering private practice, he was law clerk to Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Thomas E. Delahanty. Isaacson is past chairman of both the Maine Council of School Board Attorneys and the Maine Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules of Evidence and served as a member of the Federal Appellate Court Rules Committee. He has written, lectured, and testified before congressional committees, on issues relating to the Commerce Clause of the U. S. Constitution, and has argued before state and federal appellate courts throughout the country, including the United States Supreme Court.
Isaacson received his B.A. in 1970 from Bowdoin College and his J.D in 1973 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and has taught at the University of Maine School of Law.