Constitutional Law

Race and the Law

Discussion – 2 hours. This course will examine major cases, statutes, and events in the law, both on the books and in action, dealing with nonwhites. The course will include discussion of the situation of African Americans, Asians, Indigenous People, and Latinx People, from the Colonial era to the present. In addition to examining legal doctrine and policy, it will explore how the contemporary United States has been shaped by racial discrimination.

Advanced Topics in Administrative Law

Seminar – 2 hours. Much of our modern federal government relies on administrative agencies exercising authority delegated to them by Congress. Federal courts have traditionally deferred to agencies’ implementation of the statutes they administer, although these courts also set aside (or “vacate”) agency actions they find to be unlawful. In recent years, however, several justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have openly called for revisiting several administrative law doctrines that underlie this system.

Civil Rights Law

Discussion – 2 hours. This course focuses on litigation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the federal civil rights statute which provides the primary vehicle for claims by individuals that their federal rights have been violated by state or local officials.  We will address the substantive legal doctrines that govern § 1983 cases, the doctrines that govern the constitutional claims most frequently arising in the § 1983 context, affirmative defenses, and related civil procedure and practice considerations.  There will  be a single, final exam; class participation counts heavily in grading.

Constitutional Law II

Discussion - 4 hours. This course principally covers the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. The First Amendment materials and discussion involves an examination of freedom of speech and assembly: focusing on how the protection provided speech changes depending on the kind of speech that is regulated, the location where speech occurs, and the nature of the regulation that limits expression.

Law and Religion Seminar

Seminar - 2 hours. The primary focus of the course will be federal constitutional law relating to religion - the interpretation and application of the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. State constitutional law may also be considered as well as federal and state statutes relating to religion, e.g.

Law and Society Seminar

Seminar - 2 hours.   This course provides an overview of various intersections between sociology and law in the United States, from the origins of the country through current debates. Substantive topics may include how race, gender, class, or sexual orientation affect immigration and citizenship, education, housing and residence, or criminal justice. We will examine these issues through social science articles, case law, the U.S. Constitution and other laws, as well as media output (film and newsprint).

Federal Indian Law

Seminar - 3 hours. Elective course for Environmental Law and Public Service Certificate Programs. The seminar focuses on legal relations between Native tribes and the federal and state governments. The course will consider the basic jurisdictional conflicts that dominate this area of law, including specific areas such as land rights, hunting and fishing rights, water rights, environmental protection, gaming regulation, taxation, and criminal law.  The course will also touch upon constitutional issues pertaining to tribes and questions of federal policy.

Supreme Court Simulation Seminar

Seminar - 3 hours. In this course, students will take on the role of Justices of, and advocates before, the Supreme Court of the United States.

Voting Rights Seminar

Seminar - 2 hours. This seminar will explore the right to vote under the U.S. Constitution and Voting Rights Act of 1965. The course will explore voter eligibility issues that are brought to light by current social movements such as Black Lives Matter and immigrant rights movements.  Students will learn about contemporary voting rights issues including efforts to both expand and suppress the vote; efforts to eliminate noncitizens in the U.S.