Jack Fruchtman Jr., Professor of Political Science and Director of the Program in Law and American Civilization, has taught at Maryland’s Towson University since 1978. He has published six book-length studies on many eighteenth-century figures and constitutional issues. He has edited or annotated another five. His most recent books are The Political Philosophy of Thomas Paine (2009) and The Supreme Court: Rulings on American Government and Society (second edition 2014). He is currently working on a history of the United States Constitution.
Professor Fruchtman teaches courses on constitutional law and politics with an emphasis on the casebook method. Students are expected to read and understand the cases handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court as they prepare to discuss and debate them during each class session. He teaches these courses somewhat like law school classes but with the understanding that undergraduates and law students are not similarly situated. Students should expect that by the end of the first few weeks of class, he will know their names and will not hesitate to call on them to respond to questions.
The courses are typically those that investigate the following: the origins of the Constitution; the separation of powers; the science of federalism, the Commerce Clause; civil rights; civil liberties; the equal protection of the laws, including segregation, desegregation, resegregation, and affirmative action; the rights of the accused; the death penalty; the right to privacy. As the director of the program in Law and American Civilization, he advises students, oversees the curriculum, and conducts senior thesis research, writing, and presentation. He is also charged with guiding the LWAC major who engage in internships.
Books The Supreme Court: Rulings on American Government and Society (Baltimore, 2014) The Political Philosophy of Thomas Paine (Baltimore, 2009). Atlantic Cousins: Benjamin Franklin and His Visionary Friends (New York, 2005).
“The Arc of Violence: Riots, Disturbances of the Peace, Public Protests, and Crowd Actions in Early-Modern History,” in Disturbing the Peace: Collective Action in Britain & France, 1381 to the Present (Basinstoke, U.K.: Palgrave, Macmillan, 2014).
“Thomas Paine and American Dialogues,” in Till Kinzel and Jarmila Mildorf, ed. Imaginary Dialogues in American Literature and Philosophy: Beyond the Mainstream Beihefte-Reihe, Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift series (Heidelberg, 2014).
“Thomas Paine’s Early Radicalism, 1768-1783,” in Simon P. Newman Peter S. Onuf, in Paine and Jefferson in the Age of Revolutions, Jeffersonian America (Charlottesville, 2013).
“American Law,” in Encyclopedia of the American Enlightenment (Bristol, England, 2010).