Constitutional Law Courses

The courses listed below provide a taste of the Constitutional Law courses offered at the Law School, although no formal groupings exist in our curriculum. This list includes the courses taught in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. Not all of these courses are offered every year, but this list will give you a representative sample of the variety of courses we might offer over any two-year period. Other new courses will likely be offered during your time at the Law School.

PLEASE NOTE: This page does not include courses for the current academic year. To browse current course offerings, visit my.UChicago.

Administrative Law

This course examines the structure of the administrative state, its relations to the other branches of government and private citizens, and the constitutional, statutory, and common law rules that govern the substance and procedure of administration action and inaction. A central theme is how the law manages the tension between rule of law values (e.g., procedural regularity, accountability, and substantive limits on arbitrary action) and the desire for flexible, effective administrative governance. In particular, the course focuses on constitutional topics, including the non-delegation doctrine, presidential control over administrative agencies, and the delegation of adjudicative authority to non-Article III officers. Substantial attention is also given to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and other statutory requirements for lawful agency action. Other covered topics include the proper role of agencies in interpreting statutory and regulatory law; judicial review of agency decisions; and public participation in agency rule making. The student's grade is based on class participation and a final  in-class examination.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, David A. Strauss
  • Spring 2019, Jennifer H. Nou
  • Spring 2018, Jennifer H. Nou
  • Autumn 2017, Nicholas Stephanopoulos

American Indian Law

This course will consider two distinct bodies of law regarding the 565 federally recognized Indian tribes in the United States. First, we will study the law governing the relation between non-tribal law and tribal law. This is the law of treaties, federal jurisdiction, and sovereignty. The Supreme Court has several cases on tribal issues each year, and with the rise of gaming and natural resources as major sources of wealth, the stakes in these cases for tribe members and non-members is increasing. The materials for the course will be mostly Supreme Court cases, as well as some historical materials necessary to understand the context of the judicial consideration of tribal jurisdiction. The flavor for this part of the course will be international law, although with a decidedly American approach. Second, we will study the law within several prominent tribal areas. The Hopi, for instance, have a court system that is roughly parallel to the American one, but with key differences for handling crimes, contracts, torts, and so on. The flavor for this part of the course will be comparative law, since we will compare how different legal rules develop in distinct but related legal systems. This course is mandatory for students interested in participating in the Hopi Law Practicum (serving as clerks to justices of the Hopi Appellate Court on live cases), but it is open to all students with an interest in tribes, federal jurisdiction, sovereignty, or comparative law.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2019, M. Todd Henderson

American Legal History, 1607-1870

This course examines major themes and interpretations in the history of American law and legal institutions from the earliest English settlements through the Civil War. Topics include continuity and change between English and American law in the colonial period; the American Revolution; changing understandings of the U.S. Constitution; the legal status of women and African Americans; federalism; commerce; slavery; and the Civil War and Reconstruction. The student's grade will be based on a take-home final examination.

Previously:

  • Spring 2020, Alison LaCroix

Artificial Intelligence Technology, Law, and Policy

Artificial intelligence is transforming the way that companies and organizations engage, routine tasks are carried out, and humans relate to one another. Machine learning, natural language processing, machine vision, and related technologies are augmenting or replacing human intelligence in a number of domains, creating new legal and policy issues, challenges and opportunities.

Students that take this course are expected to gain fluency, working knowledge and the rudimentary skills of analysis that pertain to the technology, business, law and policy issues raised by artificial intelligence, robotics, and related technologies. Through reading assignments, case studies, and research exercises, students will leave the course with the ability to understand the business models and comparative advantages of various artificial intelligence firms and projects, to spot and analyze the legal, ethical and policy issues raised by them, and to problem-solve and understand how to apply existing and emerging frameworks to the challenges associated with artificial intelligence. This is a short class meeting for four days: October 7,10,14, and 17.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2019, Colleen Chien

Buddhism and Comparative Constitutional Law

This two-credit seminar will explore the relationship between Buddhism and constitutional law in contemporary Asia.  It will begin with a review of precolonial Asia and an exploration of the traditions of monastic law.  It will then examine current Buddhist practices and constitutionalism in a variety of Asian countries, including those of the Theravada tradition (Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka) and those in the Mahayana (Northeast Asia) as well the Himalayas.  The emphasis is on how legal and religious institutions have mutually informed and transformed each other throughout different periods in history. This comparative study is especially significant as Buddhist actors are playing increasingly important roles in the design, interpretation, and reformation of Asian constitutional law. In addition, while existing literature explores legal practices in secular, Islamic, and Christian contexts, few studies provide such comparative analysis in a Buddhist context.

The format of the seminar will include discussions led by the professors as well as several guest presentations of papers by other participants in a joint research project, with backgrounds in history, politics, law, religion, and anthropology. Students will prepare a series of reaction papers to these presentations, due a week before the respective session.  Grading will be on the basis of these papers and class participation.  The course is open to interested students from throughout the university. This class will begin the week of January 4, 2021.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Thomas Ginsburg and Benjamin Jacob Schonthal

Civil Gideon and Access to Justice

This seminar explores access to justice and right to counsel debates in the criminal and civil contexts, starting with the landmark Supreme Court case, Gideon v. Wainwright. Topics include, the Sixth Amendment right to counsel, whether Gideon's promise is being fulfilled in criminal cases, the costs and benefits of having a civil Gideon regime, funding for civil legal services organizations, empirical research on the impact of lawyers on case outcomes and client experiences, pro bono legal services, and the role of race and class in access to justice. Readings will include cases, law review and social science articles. Final grades will be based on a series of short response papers and class participation.

Previously:

  • Spring 2020, Atinuke Adediran
  • Spring 2019, Atinuke Adediran

Civil Rights Clinic: Police Accountability

The Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project (PAP) is one of the nation's leading law civil rights clinics focusing on issues of criminal justice. Through the lens of live-client work, students examine how and where litigation fits into broader efforts to improve police accountability and ultimately the criminal justice system. Students provide legal services to indigent victims of police abuse in federal and state courts. They litigate civil rights cases at each level of the court system from trial through appeals. Some students also represent children and adults in related juvenile or criminal defense matters. Students take primary responsibility for all aspects of the litigation, including client counseling, fact investigation, case strategy, witness interviews, legal research, pleadings and legal memoranda, discovery, depositions, motion practice, evidentiary hearings, trials, and appeals. A significant amount of legal writing is expected. Students work in teams on cases or projects, and meet with the instructor on at minimum a weekly basis. Students also take primary responsibility for the Clinic's policy and public education work. PAP teaches students to apply and critically examine legal theory in the context of representation of people in need. It teaches students to analyze how and why individual cases of abuse occur and to connect them to systemic problems, often leading to "public impact" litigation and other strategies for policy reform. Through our immersion in live client work, we engage fundamental issues of race, class, and gender, and their intersection with legal institutions. We instruct students in legal ethics and advocacy skills. And we seek to instill in them a public service ethos, as they begin their legal careers. Students are required to complete, prior to their third year, Evidence, Criminal Procedure I, and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Constitutional Law III is also recommended. Standards for evaluation are posted on Canvas.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2021, Craig Futterman
  • Autumn 2020, Craig Futterman
  • Spring 2020, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2020, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2019, Craig Futterman
  • Autumn 2019, Craig Futterman
  • Spring 2019, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2019, Craig Futterman
  • Autumn 2018, Craig Futterman
  • Spring 2018, Craig Futterman
  • Winter 2018, Craig Futterman
  • Autumn 2017, Craig Futterman

Civil Rights Litigation in the Child Welfare Context

Landmark constitutional cases hold that the familial association rights are fundamental, but enforcing that principle through litigation has been challenging for advocates for children and families. In this seminar taught by a civil rights lawyer for families involved in dozens of civil rights cases on behalf of children and families for over 30 years, we will examine cases that have tested the constitutional rights of parents and children in the context of child protective systems intervention that restricts associational, personal integrity and privacy rights,  including:   family separation/children's removal from homes and hospitals, so-called voluntary removals,  investigation tactics including gynecological searches and photographing of nude children, race/national origin discrimination and Native American rights,  disability rights, sexual orientation and gender identity in the context of foster care;  poverty/homelessness; and  the interface between domestic violence and child protection.  The course will also consider common obstacles to successful system reform challenges in civil rights litigation, including qualified and absolute immunity, standing, abstention/Rooker Feldman, and mootness.  

Students taking the class for 2 credits are expected to write two case comment papers of 4-8 pages, participate in as plaintiff, defendant, or judge in one mock oral argument of a total of 15 minutes length, and participate in a 10-15 minute group presentation about a major systemic reform case involving the child welfare system.  In addition to these requirements, students who take the class for 3 credits are expected to also submit a paper of at least 10 pages that expands upon a case comment or addresses one of the topics discussed in class in more depth.  

Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Diane L. Redleaf

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States, 1865-Present

This class examines the history of the African American Freedom Struggle  in the United States from emancipation to the present.  Although the course will move chronologically, our emphasis will be thematic, covering such topics as voting rights and political participation, sex and marriage rights, criminal justice reform, the role of courts, and the relationship between law and social movements. A series of research papers will be required for this class (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Jane Dailey

Civil Rights Practicum

In this practicum, students will engage in a range of research and analysis under the supervision of Prof. Huq, in relation to a number of active civil rights cases or other matters. Initial projects will include work on hate-crimes regulation. The aim is to cultivate experience in litigation and advocacy-related tasks in a real world setting, albeit without the structured format of a clinic. Students will be evaluated based on written work, collaboration, and analysis.Questions should be directed to Prof. Huq.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2021, Aziz Huq
  • Spring 2019, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2019, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2017, Aziz Huq

Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions

This seminar will explore the ways in which having a criminal record changes people's lives, as well as the broader social and public safety impact of those consequences, including distributive consequences along racial and socioeconomic lines. We will explore the many "collateral legal consequences" of criminal convictions (that is, legal consequences other than the sentence), constitutional theories for challenging those consequences, and socioeconomic hurdles facing people with records, especially those reentering society from prison. We'll also evaluate, from an interdisciplinary perspective, various legal and policy interventions designed to help people with records overcome these obstacles and avoid criminal recidivism. This class requires a major paper of 20-25 pages. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Sonja Starr

Comparative Legal Institutions

This course is designed to examine a range of legal institutions from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. It is not a traditional course in comparative law, in that it focuses not so much on particular rules of substantive law but on the structure of different legal systems and the consequences of those structural differences for law and society. In particular, we will focus on the economic impact of legal traditions. Readings will be drawn from legal and social science literature, including works from anthropology, economics, political science and sociology. The course will explicitly cover non-Western legal traditions to an extent not found in conventional comparative law courses. Furthermore, American institutions are explicitly included in the comparison: this is not simply a course in foreign law. Assessment is by a three-hour take-home exam. There is an option to write a research paper sufficient to fulfill the substantial writing requirement; LLM, second-year and third-year students can exercise this option freely but only a limited number of first-year students may avail themselves of it.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Spring 2019, Thomas Ginsburg
  • Spring 2018, Thomas Ginsburg

Constitutional Decisionmaking

Students enrolled in the seminar will work as "courts" consisting of five "Justices" each. During each of the first eight weeks of the quarter, each court will be assigned two hypothetical cases raising issues under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. All cases must be decided with opinion (concurring and dissenting opinions are permitted). The decisions may be premised on the "legislative history" of the Equal Protection Clause (materials on that history will be provided) and on any doctrines or precedents created by the "Justices" themselves. The "Justices" may not rely, however, on any actual decisions of the United States Supreme Court. The seminar is designed to give students some insight into the problems a Justice confronts in collaborating with colleagues, interpreting an ambiguous constitutional provision, and then living with the doctrines and precedents he or she creates. Enrollment will be limited to three courts. Since the members of each court must work together closely under rigid time constraints, students must sign up as five-person courts. This seminar will not have regularly-scheduled classes (except for introductory and concluding meetings), but you should not underestimate the time demands. It is a very demanding seminar. If more than three courts sign up, I will select the participating courts by lot. To be eligible for participation in the seminar, students should send me an e-mail (gstone@uchicago.edu), including the names and e-mail addresses of all five "Justices." This seminar will not have regularly-scheduled classes (except for an introductory meeting), but you should not underestimate the time demands. It is a very demanding seminar. If more than three courts sign up, I will select the participating courts by lot and I will email you to let you know whether your court has been selected. To be eligible for participation in the seminar, students should send me an e-mail (gstone@uchicago.edu) by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, November 6, including the names and e-mail addresses of all five "Justices." If more than four courts sign up, I will select the participating courts by lot and I will email you by Monday, November 9, to let you know whether your court has been selected. This class will have varied meeting dates determined by the faculty member, but will still have the equivalent meeting times and out of class work required for a 3 credit seminar.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Spring 2020, Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Winter 2019, Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Spring 2018, Geoffrey R. Stone

Constitutional Law for LL.M. Students

This course is designed to introduce LL.M. students to U.S. constitutional law. Topics to be covered include the theory, development and practice of judicial review, the power of, and limitations on, judicial power, the allocation of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, judicial involvement in economic policy, and the role of the Supreme Court in adjudicating disputes between the states and the federal government. In addition, the course will cover key doctrines in the areas of equal protection and substantive due process. This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Gerald N. Rosenberg
  • Autumn 2019, Gerald N. Rosenberg
  • Autumn 2018, Gerald N. Rosenberg
  • Autumn 2017, Gerald N. Rosenberg

Constitutional Law I: Governmental Structure

This course provides an introduction to constitutional law.  It will cover, among other things, the institution of judicial review; the separation of powers between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government; and the distribution of power between the federal government and state and local governments.  It will also cover methods of constitutional interpretation and topics in constitutional theory. This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Bridget Anna Fahey
  • Winter 2021, William Baude
  • Winter 2021, Alison LaCroix
  • Spring 2020, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2019, Ernest A. Young
  • Spring 2019, Alison LaCroix
  • Winter 2019, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2018, William Baude
  • Spring 2018, David A. Strauss
  • Winter 2018, Aziz Huq

Constitutional Law II: Freedom of Speech

A study of the doctrine and theory of the constitutional law of freedom of speech. The subjects for discussion include advocacy of unlawful conduct, defamation, invasion of privacy, commercial speech, obscenity and pornography, offensive speech, symbolic expression, protest in public places, regulation of campaign finance, and selective government subsidies of speech. This class requires either an in-class exam or major paper (20-25 pages).

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Autumn 2020, Genevieve Lakier
  • Spring 2020, Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Autumn 2019, Genevieve Lakier
  • Winter 2019, Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Autumn 2018, Genevieve Lakier
  • Winter 2018, Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Autumn 2017, Laura Weinrib

Constitutional Law III: Equal Protection and Substantive Due Process

This course considers the history, theory, and contemporary law of the post-Civil War Amendments to the Constitution, particularly the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The central subjects are the constitutional law governing discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, and the recognition of certain fundamental rights. Throughout, students consider foundational questions, including the role of courts in a democracy and the question of how the Constitution should be interpreted. The student's grade is based on a final examination. This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Aziz Huq
  • Spring 2021, Genevieve Lakier
  • Winter 2021, David A. Strauss
  • Spring 2020, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2020, Geoffrey R. Stone
  • Spring 2019, Justin Driver
  • Winter 2019, David A. Strauss
  • Spring 2018, Justin Driver
  • Autumn 2017, Nicholas Stephanopoulos

Constitutional Law V: Freedom of Religion

This course explores religious freedom in America, especially under the first amendment. It is recommended that students first take Constitutional Law I. Students who have completed Constitutional Law IV are ineligible to enroll in this course. The grade is based on a substantial paper of 20-25 pages, series of short papers, or final examination, with class participation taken into account. Instructor consent required for paper to be considered for SRP certification.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Mary Anne Case
  • Winter 2020, Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2019, Mary Anne Case
  • Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case

Constitutional Law VII: Parent, Child, and State

This course considers the role that constitutional law plays in shaping children's development. Among the topics discussed are parents' right to control the upbringing of their children; children's rights of speech, religion, procreative freedom and against cruel and unusual punishment; children's procedural rights in school and in the criminal justice system; parental identity rights, including rights associated with paternity claims, termination proceedings, assisted reproduction, and adoption; the scope of the state's authority to intervene to protect children, to regulate their conduct, or to influence their upbringing; and the role of race and culture in defining the family. This class has a final exam or a major paper my be written (20-25 pages).

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Emily Buss
  • Spring 2019, Emily Buss
  • Spring 2018, Emily Buss

The Constitutional Rights of Minors from the Minors' Point of View

This seminar will be offered to a small group of law students who will co-teach a group of high school students who are currently in the custody of Illinois's Juvenile Justice System. Each law student will be paired with one or two high school students living in and attending school in a juvenile facility and will be responsible for supporting those students' learning, commenting on their weekly work, and co-running weekly small group sessions. Law Students will also be expected to participate in additional group meetings with Professor Buss to plan the curriculum and discuss the insights gained from the class, and in individual meetings with the high school students as part of the teaching process. The seminar will meet on Tuesday mornings from 9:00 to 11:00 to accommodate the needs of the high school students. Additional meetings will be scheduled to accommodate the schedules of enrolled law students, high school students and Professor Buss. Priority will be given to Law Students enrolled in Con Law VII, to increase the law students' expertise on the topics addressed in the High School seminar and to enrich the learning in Con Law VII. If any students not enrolled in Con Law VII are enrolled in the seminar, they will be expected to do additional reading to prepare them for the seminar sessions. Topics will include: Young peoples' rights in the juvenile justice system, minors' right to control medical and reproductive decisions, and high school students' religious and speech rights , due process rights, and rights against search and seizure in school. Law Students' writing will consist of weekly response papers addressing high school students' participation and reflecting upon the high school students' contributions. Advance approval by Emily Buss is required., and space is limited. If you are interested, please contact her by email at ebussdos@uchicago.edu at your earliest convenience. Students interested in taking it for 3 credits will write an additional 10-15 page paper.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Emily Buss
  • Autumn 2019, Emily Buss
  • Winter 2018, Emily Buss
  • Autumn 2018, Emily Buss

Corporate and Entrepreneurial Finance

This course uses the case method to study the practical aspects of important topics in corporate and entrepreneurial finance. We will apply the concepts and techniques of corporate finance to actual situations. The course is divided into four sections: (1) financing decisions; (2) investment decisions; (3) private equity; and (4) venture capital.  In addition to analyzing financing issues, we will consider how those issues relate to firm strategy.  It will be important to examine the "big picture" assumptions used in the numerical calculations. This course also places a strong emphasis on presentation and discussion skills.  COURSE PROCEDURES For each class meeting, I will assign study questions concerning one or two cases. You are allowed and encouraged, but not required to meet in groups outside of class to discuss and analyze the cases. Each group will submit a two-page memorandum of analysis and recommendations at the beginning of each case discussion. If you are working in a group, I will accept one memorandum from the group and count it for all students in the group. group can include up to 3 students. GRADING will be based on class participation, the short memoranda and a final examination. Class participation will count for 40% of the final grade.  Because so much of the learning in this course occurs in the classroom, it is very important that you attend every class. The memoranda will count for 10% of the final grade. The final examination will count for 50% of the final grade. The final examination will be an individual take home case analysis. Students should have an understanding of financial statements. I.e., students should be able to read an income statement, cash flow statement and balance sheet.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Steven N. Kaplan
  • Spring 2020, Steven N. Kaplan
  • Spring 2019, Steven N. Kaplan
  • Spring 2018, Steven N. Kaplan

Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process

This course covers the constitutional law regulating the investigatory process, including searches, seizures, and confessions. The grade is based on a final 8 hour take-home examination./The grade is based on a final examination.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, John Rappaport
  • Winter 2021, Richard McAdams
  • Autumn 2020, Sharon Renee Fairley
  • Winter 2020, Sharon Renee Fairley
  • Autumn 2019, John Rappaport
  • Spring 2019, John Rappaport
  • Winter 2019, Richards McAdams
  • Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Winter 2018, John Rappaport

Criminal Procedure III: Further Issues in Criminal Adjudication

We will cover a variety of criminal procedure topics not addressed elsewhere including: double jeopardy and criminal collateral estoppel, appellate review standards, and joinder. We will also cover in depth post-conviction review and federal habeas corpus proceedings, which is especially beneficial to those students with or interested in judicial clerkships. This class has an 8 hour final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Adam Karl Mortara

Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law

This seminar covers a series of current issues in criminal and national security law, often comparing and contrasting the two approaches, with a focus on war power and uses of military force, drone strikes, challenges arising from acts of terrorism and national security prosecutions (including a focus on substantive terrorism offenses, espionage offenses as well as the leaking of classified information), a discussion of criminal investigative tools and intelligence activities, application of constitutional principles to terrorism investigations and prosecutions (particularly the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments and the application of Miranda, Quarles and Corley decisions and certain state bar rules in that context), and in other select topics, including the Classified Information Procedures Act, economic sanctions, and national security leaks. Each class will focus on a different topic, with advance reading assigned around each topic, and grading on the basis of two short reflection papers (3-5 pages each) and a final paper in the form of a U.S. Supreme Court opinion (20-25 pages, including a majority and dissent) on a select issue in criminal and national security law. Participation may be considered in final grading. Guest speakers may be invited to help facilitate discussion on certain topics. Criminal law is prerequisite.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
  • Winter 2020, Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
  • Winter 2019, Patrick J. Fitzgerald

Education Law & Policy

Public schools have been a dramatic setting for Constitutional challenges for over 100 years, and K-12 education has been shaped by cases on the role of government in education, by policies intended to promote equality of opportunity and access, and by evolving methods of reform. Students will examine well-established education precedents while learning how education law and policy have developed. The class focus, however, will be on cutting-edge issues. Students will explore policy choices under theories of jurisprudence including critical race theory. Readings will include Constitutional issues of speech, privacy, equal protection, and freedom of religion, as well as state constitutional rights to adequate education. In addition, there will be applications of statutory and regulatory law. Broad course themes include: equity in access to education and the disparate impact of policy choices, particularly during the pandemic, on students who are members of groups with limited access to educational opportunity historically; the goals of public education and the tension between government authority to ensure these goals are met, and family rights to control the values and education presented to their children; and the balance between freedom of expression for students and the goal of schools to provide a safe teaching and learning environment. Current disputes will be analyzed through the lens of access to a quality education at every aspect of the education process. Topics may include: K-12 student data privacy; transgender student rights; practices that may create a school-to-prison pipeline; safe spaces and the First Amendment; artificial intelligence digital tutors and rights to adequate education; tax credit scholarships for religious schools; the impact of growth of charter schools; teachers' rights to work conditions in a pandemic; sanctuary districts and excluding immigrants from the Census; and K-12 teacher tenure and compensation. This class requires a major paper of 20-25 pages. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Susan Rochelle Epstein

Election Law

In this course, we will discuss the basic themes surrounding the legal regulation of elections, politics, and the political process as a whole.  We will cover all the major Supreme Court cases (and a few important lower court decisions) on the topics of voting rights, reapportionment/redistricting, ballot access, regulation of political parties, and the 2000 presidential election controversy.  We will also discuss competing political philosophies; alternatives to the two-party system; and the role of the courts, the legislature, and direct democracy in our system.  By the end of the course, the goal is that you will have a basic understanding of the structure, mechanics, and history of the political process in this country, but with an appreciation for the complexities of the right to vote and the difficulties involved in regulating the behavior of political actors. This course has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Franita Smith
  • Autumn 2019, Nicholas Stephanopolous
  • Spring 2019, Nicholas Stephanopolous

Employment Discrimination Law

This course will examine employment discrimination law beginning with the legislative history of employment discrimination leading to the passage of Title VII and continuing to other limitations on the employment-at-will doctrine. Types of discrimination examined will include race, sex, religion, disability, age, color, national origin and sexual orientation. Emphasis will be placed on race discrimination as an example of how discrimination is proven and defended in litigation. Individual and class claims will be discussed. Special emphasis will be placed upon such pragmatic topics as corporate internal investigations, handling agency and administrative charges of discrimination, the impact of insurance coverage, federal litigation, along with the increasing use of private mediation and arbitration. Final grade will be comprised of a research project conducted by small groups of students. Students are expected to write a 20-30 page research paper.

Participation may be considered in final grading.

Possible topics for research projects include:

  • Whether current standards of proof of discrimination are sufficient or appropriate.
  • Whether whistleblowers should be identified and compensated similar to SEC whistleblowers.
  • How the ""pipeline"" may lead to discriminatory decisions in hiring and promotions.
  • Are victims of discriminatory terminations fully compensated after losing employer-based medical coverage?

A key theme of the course will be to identify changes to anti-discrimination laws, which changes would be designed to more effectively reduce discrimination.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Martin Peter Greene
  • Autumn 2019, Suja A. Thomas
  • Winter 2019, James Whitehead
  • Autumn 2017, James Whitehead

Fair Housing

This course will focus on the law and policy of fair housing, broadly construed. Substantial attention will be devoted to antidiscrimination laws in housing, including the federal Fair Housing Act. We will also explore existing and proposed policies for improving access of lower-income people to housing. The causes and consequences of residential segregation will be examined, as well as the effects of zoning and other land use controls. Additional topics may include gentrification, eviction, squatting, mortgages and foreclosures, the siting of locally undesirable land uses, and the use of eminent domain. The student's grade will be based on class participation and a final exam.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Lee Fennell

Federal Courts

This course considers the role of the federal courts in the U.S. federal system. Topics will include the power of Congress to expand or contract the jurisdiction of the federal courts, federal question jurisdiction, litigation against federal and state governments and their officials, direct and collateral review of state-court decisions, abstention, and related doctrines. Constitutional Law I is recommended. This class has a final exam.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Alison LaCroix
  • Autumn 2020, Fred O. Smith Jr.
  • Spring 2020, William Baude
  • Spring 2019, William Baude
  • Winter 2019, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2018, Fred O. Smith Jr.
  • Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
  • Autumn 2017, Adam Mortara

The Federal Courts and the Federal System

This course will consider the role of the federal courts in the U.S. federal system. We will cover, among other things, Congressional control of the jurisdiction of the federal courts; the federal question jurisdiction of the federal courts; issues arising out of the relationship between state and federal courts; and the sources of, and limits on, actions against state and federal governments and their officials. Constitutional Law I is a co-requisite (that is, students must have taken Constitutional Law I or be taking it at the same time as this course). Grades will be based on a take-home final exam.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, David A. Strauss

Federal Criminal Justice Practice and Issues

This practice-oriented course integrates instruction on federal pretrial criminal procedures and issues with student practice exercises overseen by the instructor. The course will cover federal criminal practice from investigation up to trial, utilizing examples from recent federal criminal investigations and cases. The course will provide opportunities for student performance to develop professional skills and understanding. In particular, the course will provide instruction on (i) federal investigations and related issues (including Grand Jury proceedings and witness immunity); (ii) corporate internal investigations; (iii) federal charging decisions; (iv) initial appearances following arrest and accompanying bail/detention hearings (v) discovery under the federal criminal rules; (vi) pretrial motions and practice; and (vii) plea agreements. Students will engage in periodic practice simulations related to the pretrial stages of a federal criminal case. For example, students will conduct mock witness interviews in the context of a corporate internal investigation, present motions and arguments seeking, and objecting to, pretrial detention, and present motions and argument seeking to exclude or admit evidence. The course thus will provide opportunities for oral and written advocacy focusing on federal criminal pretrial practice. Each class session will also include discussion of practical and strategic issues facing both the defense and the prosecution under real-world circumstances at each pretrial stage. A student's grade will be based on class participation and written and oral performance in the simulated practice exercises.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Michael Doss
  • Winter 2020, Michael Doss
  • Winter 2019, Michael Doss
  • Winter 2018, Michael Doss

First Amendment Theory

This course will examine the theoretical underpinnings of the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and religious liberty. We will review and critique constitutional doctrine in these areas, in light of relevant history, philosophy, and legal scholarship, and explore the connection between these two rights. Having completed Constitutional Law II or V is recommended but not required. The grade will be based on a major paper of 20-25 pages and class participation.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Erin Lynn Miller

Greenberg Seminar: Legal Issues in Game of Thrones

This Greenberg seminar considers legal issues raised in the Game of Thrones TV series. Among other issues, we will consider the implicit criminal law, contract law, and constitutional law (e.g., the rules of succession) in the Game of Thrones, as well as how norms substitute for law when central legal enforcement is unavailable. We will also consider the role of counselors (akin in some sense to lawyers) in the Game of Thrones society. Students should have watched the complete series before the first class session.

Previously:

  • Spring 2020, Joan E. Neal and David A. Weisbach
  • Winter 2020, Joan E. Neal and David A. Weisbach
  • Autumn 2019, Joan E. Neal and David A. Weisbach
  • Winter 2019, Julie Roin and Saul Levmore
  • Autumn 2018, Julie Roin and Saul Levmore

Greenberg Seminar: Protest, Surveillance and Speech: Black Mirror and Other Dystopias

The pace at which new technology and social media evolve and reshape our lives, altering our social and legal landscape, raises new and old fears and possibilities. This course will explore the role of surveillance and control through works of science fiction and dystopias. We will consider the role of surveillance in facilitating state and public control in pursuit of better (and perfect) governance. We will also consider evolving methods and strategies for dissent and public speech.  In what ways is state and social control helpful and necessary? When does it become problematic? When and under what circumstances do states to tolerate and facilitate dissent? Do we need a new concept of privacy in the modern age or do we need to protect what is being lost?

Previously:

  • Autumn 2019, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Winter 2020, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli
  • Spring 2020, Claudia Maria Flores and Nino Guruli

Hate Crime Law

This seminar will provide students with an overview of hate crime.  The course will explore the emergence of modern hate crime laws in the United States and the legal controversies surrounding them, including in the context of contemporary social issues.  We will examine the challenges of data collection and the impact of data on policy analysis.  Law enforcement and hate crime prosecution will be reviewed.  The course will also consider the limits of the legal system to effectively address hate crime through conventional methods and discuss alternative options.  Grading will be based on class participation and a final research paper (20-25 pages).

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Juan Carlos Linares
  • Spring 2019, Juan Carlos Linares

The History of American Federalism: Origins to the Civil War

This seminar examines the history of American federalism, both as a constitutional value and as a product of intellectual history, from its early modern European antecedents to the U.S. Civil War. Topics include the legal and political organization of the colonies and the British Empire; early American federal experiments; the American Revolution and the Articles of Confederation; the drafting and ratification of the Constitution; the nullification crisis; secession; and the Civil War. Readings will come from primary historical sources, secondary sources in history and law, political theory, and cases. Grades will be based on a series of short response papers and an in-class presentation. Students wishing to take the seminar for three credits must write an additional short research paper of 10 to 15 pages in addition to the rest of the coursework. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Alison LaCroix

Immigrants' Rights Clinic

The Immigrants' Rights Clinic provides legal representation to immigrant communities in Chicago, including individual representation of immigrants in removal proceedings, immigration-related complex federal litigation, and policy and community education projects on behalf of community-based organizations. Students will interview clients, develop claims and defenses, draft complaints, engage in motion practice and settlement discussions, appear in federal, state, and administrative courts, brief and argue appeals, and engage in media advocacy. In the policy and community education projects, students may develop and conduct community presentations, draft and advocate for legislation at the state and local levels, and provide support to immigrants' rights organizations. The seminar will meet for two hours per week and will include classes on the fundamentals of immigration law and policy as well as skills-based classes that connect to the students' fieldwork. Both 2L and 3L students are encouraged to apply. Students must enroll for either 2 or 3 credits each quarter and must enroll for all three quarters.  Instructor note: while many clinic activities can be conducted remotely, there may be some fieldwork activities, such as client interviews and court hearings, that must be conducted in-person. Students who will not be geographically located in Chicago for some or all of the year should speak with Professor Hallett before bidding. Students with questions may contact Professor Hallett at nhallett@uchicago.edu to learn more. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Students will be evaluated on the fieldwork portion of course on the basis of whether they:

  • Fulfill professional obligations to clients
  • Work diligently and zealously towards accomplishing the clients' goals
  • Collaborate with team members and supervisor effectively
  • Show willingness to learn new skills and confront new legal problems
  • Show improvement in legal writing, oral advocacy, and other lawyering skills
  • Willingly incorporate feedback into your work
  • Use reflection to learn from clinic experiences
  • Display responsibility, collegiality, and professionalism
  • Meet internal and external deadlines
  • Attend class prepared to discuss readings and regularly participate in classroom discussions
  • Practice excellent file management and time-keeping

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Winter 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Autumn 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Spring 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Winter 2020, Amber Nicole Hallett

Immigration Law

This course explores the U.S. immigration system. The course will focus on the federal laws and policies that regulate the admission and exclusion of immigrants. Topics covered will include: the visa system, deportation and removal, the law of asylum, the role of the states in regulating migrants, and proposed reforms to the immigration system. The course will also consider how immigration law connects to both constitutional law and foreign policy. This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Amber Nicole Hallett
  • Spring 2020, Adam S. Chilton
  • Autumn 2018, Allison Tirres
  • Spring 2018, Adam S. Chilton

The Interbellum Constitution: Union, Commerce, and Slavery in the Early 19th Century

This seminar examines the legal and intellectual history of debates concerning American constitutional law and politics between the Revolution and the Civil War, approximately 1800 to 1860. Topics to be discussed include the federal-state relationship, the commerce power, internal improvements, the market revolution, federal regulation of slavery in the territories, and the role of the federal courts. The grade will be based on a final written paper 20-25 pages, a short in-class presentation, and class participation.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Alison LaCroix
  • Winter 2019, Alison LaCroix

Introduction to American Law and Legal Institutions

This course will consider a variety of legal institutions and how they interact to produce a distinctly American configuration of law.  Since Tocqueville, observers have noted that Americans have a distinctly legal mode of organizing society: as he put it "Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question."  More than citizens of other advanced democracies, they seem willing to turn to courts to resolve disputes, from those about mundane traffic accidents to major disputes of politics and public policy, and to emphasize punitive legal sanctions. The causes and consequences of this litigiousness will be explored through the lens of legal institutions.  The course will begin with an introduction to the constitutional structure and then proceed to examine particular legal institutions. Subjects will include the civil and criminal jury, the role of lawyers, the political role of the judiciary,  and legalistic modes of administrative regulation.  The emphasis will be on how the institutions actually operate, and readings will be drawn from both legal and social scientific literature. This class will have a final exam. This class is only open to LLM students and is required for LLM students to take.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Thomas Ginsburg

Is Our Constitution Undemocratic?

It is often said that the U.S. Constitution is the oldest democratic constitution in the world. But how democratic is it? This seminar will explore that question both historically and by examining, in some detail, the constitutional design. Topics to be discussed include: the Framing and the legacy of slavery; constitutional war powers and U.S. imperialism; presidential power; Article III and the powers of judicial review; the Senate; the Electoral College and the constitutional organization of voting more broadly; Article V and the difficulties of amending the Constitution.  Grades will be based on some combination of class participation, reaction papers and/or a short final research paper.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, William Baude and Genevieve Lakier

Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic  

The Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic represents parties and amici curiae in cases before the United States Supreme Court and other appellate courts. Students work on all aspects of the clinic's cases -- from formulating case strategy; to researching and writing merits briefs, amicus curiae briefs, and petitions for certiorari; to preparing for oral arguments. Students also conduct research on cases that may be suitable to bring to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although the clinic's focus is the U.S. Supreme Court, the clinic may also handle cases in the United States Courts of Appeals and the Illinois Supreme Court.

The clinic is supervised by Associate Clinical Professor Sarah Konsky, Professor David Strauss, and members of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice group at Jenner & Block. U.S. Supreme Court: Theory and Practice (LAWS 50311) is required as either a pre-requisite or co-requisite for 2L and 3L students participating in the clinic. Students who have successfully completed a course covering content comparable to the U.S. Supreme Court: Theory and Practice seminar may seek consent from Professor Konsky to waive the co-requisite requirement. Academic credit for the clinic varies and is awarded according to the Law School's general criteria for clinical courses as described in the Law School Announcements and by the approval of the clinical faculty. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Winter 2021, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Autumn 2020, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Spring 2020, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Winter 2020, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Autumn 2019, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Winter 2019, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Autumn 2018, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Spring 2018, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Winter 2018, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky
  • Autumn 2017, David A. Strauss and Sarah M. Konsky

Judicial Federalism  

In this seminar, we will explore the various doctrines that police the line between the role of the U.S. federal courts and the often-parallel role of the state courts (or occasionally tribal courts). Those doctrines include the limits on the subject-matter jurisdiction of the federal courts found in Article III; the Rooker-Feldman doctrine; constitutional or common-law limitations on federal authority such as those for domestic-relations and probate cases; the various abstention doctrines (Pullman, Burford, Younger, Colorado River); the Anti-Injunction Acts; notions of lis pendens that apply in both federal and state courts; "complete" versus defense preemption, and habeas corpus review of state-court criminal judgments in federal courts. We will also compare the U.S. system to that of the European Union. There are no prerequisites. Students will write a paper (which can qualify for the substantial writing requirement) for credit in the seminar.All students are required (1) to have an individual conference at which the paper topic is approved, (2) to turn in a rough draft for comments, and then (3) to turn in a final paper of 20-25 pages.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Diane P. Wood
  • Winter 2019, Diane P. Wood
  • Winter 2018, Diane P. Wood

The Law of Police

This course will comprehensively survey the law governing police in the United States that is not already extensively covered in Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process (so a student may take both courses). Topics may include the state and local law creating public and private police; class action lawsuits to challenge stop and frisk policies under the Fourth Amendment; class action lawsuits to challenge racial profiling under the Equal Protection Clause; statutes limiting racial profiling; state statutory law on police use of deadly force and local use-of-force policies; collective bargaining law regarding arbitration of police discipline and use-of-force policies; statutory and constitutional regulation of police surveillance and undercover operations; constitutional regulation of police obtained eyewitness identifications; the constitutional and statutory law of policing public protests; federal influence over local police; section 1983 lawsuits against the police and qualified immunity; the law for prosecuting the police; the law of injunctive relief against police. The grade is based on a final examination.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Richard McAdams

The Law, Politics, and Policy of Policing

In the wake of several highly publicized incidents of police brutality, the American public is engaged in substantive debate over modern policing strategies and tactics and how best to achieve public safety while respecting the rights and dignity of all citizens.  This course will provide an overview of the public safety challenges facing large, urban police organizations.  With the legal framework as a foundation, students will discuss the policy and political considerations relevant to key policing strategies.  Starting with readings that provide the historical perspective on policing, each week will focus on a distinct policing strategy or policy challenge, including topics such as crisis intervention, national security, and gun violence.  Some classes may include invited guest speakers. This class has a final take-home examination. Participation may be considered in final grading. Students may qualify for an additional credit hour by writing a substantial paper. Criminal Procedure is suggested as a pre-requisite, but not required.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Sharon Renee Fairley
  • Autumn 2019, Sharon Renee Fairley

Legal History of the Founding Era

This class explores the legal world of the late eighteenth century from the period just before the Revolution to the ratification of the Constitution.  Among other topics, the class covers debates over the economic and political conditions that shaped the constitutional moment, and the implications of those debates for constitutional interpretation. This class requires a series of reaction  papers and substantial out of class work. Participation may be considered in final grading. Students who have already taken the short course Law and the American Revolution may not enroll.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Farah Peterson

Legislation and Statutory Interpretation

Much legal work today involves the close reading and interpretation of statutes or similar texts. This class considers current theories and problems related to the production and interpretation of statutes. It aims to bolster students' ability to work with statutes in law school and beyond. At the end of the class, students should have a thorough grasp of the production of statutes by the legislative branch and their use by agencies and courts. The student's grade is based on a final examination. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Farah Peterson, Jennifer H. Nou, Ryan David Doerfler, and Richard A. Epstein
  • Autumn 2019, Jennifer H. Nou
  • Spring 2018, Richard A. Epstein

LGBT Law

This seminar examines the treatment of gender, sexual orientation and related questions of sexuality and identity in the U.S. legal system. The course emphasizes constitutional jurisprudence and theory with a particular focus on the First Amendment and the equal protection and due process guarantees, and statutory antidiscrimination provisions. Topics covered include marriage rights, student speech, the definition of sex under the equal protection guarantee and statutory antidiscrimination provisions, the rights of students to access sex segregated facilities, public and private workplace concerns, rights of intimate and expressive association, and asserted conflicts between religious liberty and nondiscrimination principles. This class requires a major paper (20-25 pages). The paper will be a mock appellate brief.

Participation may be considered in final grading. A constitutional law course is recommended but not required prior to taking this class.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Camilla Taylor
  • Winter 2020, Camilla Taylor
  • Winter 2019, Camilla Taylor

Life (and Death) in the Law

This seminar will explore the various definitions and valuations of life across diverse areas of the law. Readings will include seminal cases in reproductive rights, assisted suicide, right-to-die, and capital punishment. Background readings in related areas, i.e., scientific journals, papers, etc. will also be required. The seminar will discuss policy decision-making including actuarial analysis and social, medical and religious values inherent, implicit or ignored in the legal analysis. Students will be required to write two response papers, co-draft a statute in one area of law, and participate in jury deliberations. Grade will also be based on class participation.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2020, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2019, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers
  • Spring 2018, Herschella Juanita Glenn Conyers

Military Law

This course is designed principally to provide a broad overview of the legal issues that confront the U.S. military and its servicemembers. The course will touch on military justice, administrative law, operational law, servicemembers' rights, and fiscal law (time permitting). This course is useful for anyone interested in serving as a lawyer in the military, working in the military law area as a civilian attorney, or working in the military or national security area in a policy-oriented position. It is also useful for any future public policymaker or official to have a basic understanding of the legal framework for the activities of our military here and abroad.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Adam Benjamin Spencer

The Original Meaning of the Privileges or Immunities Clause

The Fourteenth Amendment, enacted in the wake of the Civil War, provides that "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States." But this Clause was quickly diluted by the courts, so its true meaning remains obscure. But if the original meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment is to be recovered, the Clause's meaning is central to debates over the incorporation of the Bill of Rights, the status of unenumerated rights, and principles of antidiscrimination. This seminar will be a deep dive into the original meaning of that Clause, via a mix of primary sources and competing scholarly theories. It will presume a great deal of constitutional law background, so students should have prior or concurrent enrollment in Con Law III, or the permission of the instructor. This class requires a major paper (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, William Patrick Baude

Originalism and Its Discontents

Originalism is a major school of constitutional interpretation and an important field of study. Both legal discussions and public debates regularly feature originalist arguments or criticisms of originalism. To engage these arguments, lawyers and citizens must weigh the merits of a diverse set of originalist theories. Prerequisite: any constitutional law course.

This short seminar is designed to acquaint you with a number of originalist and nonoriginalist arguments; to enable you to assess their strengths; and to give you an opportunity to sharpen your own views on the topic.

This class requires a series of response papers (combined page total = 10-12 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2020, Stephen E. Sachs

Privacy Law

This seminar surveys legal efforts to draw boundaries between the public and private spheres. Substantive topics of discussion may include privacy tort law, the constitutional right to information privacy, financial privacy, Internet and consumer privacy; health privacy; FTC privacy regulations; California privacy law; European privacy law; the relationship between privacy and competition and privacy and innovation in digital markets; the relationship between privacy and the First Amendment; the Fourth Amendment and other restrictions on governmental investigations and surveillance. The student's grade is based on a series of bi-weekly reaction papers, one of which will require outside research, and class participation.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Filippo Maria Lancieri
  • Autumn 2019, Lior Strahilevitz (as Privacy)
  • Winter 2018, Lior Strahilevitz (as Privacy)

Public Land Law

This course introduces the law governing public lands in the United States, including the preservation and the exploitation of the natural resources on those lands. The course deals with the administrative structures and the legal doctrines that have been developed to control use and enjoyment of the public lands. It takes up selected subjects to illustrate how the system works. Among possible subjects for inclusion are: the national parks, timber policy, grazing rights, mining law, protection of wildlife, and wilderness preservation. The choice of subjects to be studied will depend in large part on the interests of the students who enroll. This class has a final take-home examination.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Richard Helmholz
  • Autumn 2018, Richard Helmholz

Public Law in the Time of Trump

Recent events, including President Trump's controversial policies and actions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and nationwide protests over policy brutality, have placed a strain on administrative law and institutions in the United States. In this seminar, invited speakers from other law schools will present scholarship that examines these developments. The seminar serves the dual purpose of introducing students to scholarly approaches to understanding contemporary events, and educating them about the relevant administrative and constitutional rules, particularly those that address crises and fast-changing problems. Students will read academic articles, draft short reaction papers, and be prepared to ask questions of the speaker. The Q&A with each paper's author will be followed by discussion among the students and professors regarding the strengths and shortcomings of the scholarship presented. This seminar will be conducted entirely via Zoom to facilitate the inclusion of invited speakers from other schools.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Jonathan Masur and Eric Andrew Posner

Regulating the Mass Public Sphere

As the events of the last few months have made clear, there are serious problems with how the mass public sphere operates in the United States. Lies, conspiracy theories and disinformation circulate widely. Threats and harassment make it difficult for many (particularly women and minorities) to participate freely. Meanwhile the lowering of barriers to entry has encouraged a fracturing of the public conversation. This seminar will explore the extent to which these problems result from and/or might be solved by, regulation. To do so, it will take a deep dive into the regulatory history of the mass public. The seminar will examine the history of federal postal policy, telegraph common carrier laws, twentieth century radio regulation (including the Fairness Doctrine) and the internet platforms. It will also ask students to critically examine some of the reform proposals that have been suggested to correct the problems with the mass public. Knowledge of First Amendment law is recommended but not required. Grades will be based on class participation and a final research paper.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Genevieve Lakier

Supreme Court Reform

The seminar will discuss various proposals for reforming the Supreme Court in particular and the judiciary in general.  It will begin with a discussion of the current political context and how judicial reform has come to be a serious possibility for the first time in almost a century.  It will then turn to more theoretical readings, covering the basic political philosophical considerations that bear on the issue.  Finally, we will discuss different concrete reform proposals, both in terms of legality and desirability. Students will work in small groups to prepare and present memos evaluating specific reform proposals. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Winter 2021, Ryan David Doerfler

U.S. Supreme Court: Theory and Practice

This seminar will provide an in-depth look at the U.S. Supreme Court, with particular emphasis on the skills required to practice successfully in that forum. Students will not only discuss the Court as an institution, but they will also hone skills needed to navigate the certiorari process and to brief and argue before the Court. In addition to class participation, students will be graded on a legal brief (generally 15-20 pages in length) and a short reaction paper.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2020, Sarah M. Konsky and Michael Scodro
  • Autumn 2019, Sarah M. Konsky and Michael Scodro
  • Autumn 2018, Sarah M. Konsky and Michael Scodro
  • Autumn 2017, Sarah M. Konsky and Michael Scodro

Voting Rights from Reconstruction to the Roberts Court

This course examines the intersection of race and voting rights. From debates about voter ID laws to legal battles over redistricting, race and voting rights are inextricably intertwined in our society. This course analyzes the development of voting rights over U.S. history, starting with the passage of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments during Reconstruction. Other topics include the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the constitutionality of race-conscious redistricting, and the legal significance of racially polarized voting. Students will leave the course with an understanding of the major issues in voting rights today. Students will be graded based on short reaction papers as well as the quality of their preparation and participation in the seminar. There will not be a final examination. Prerequisites: Constitutional Law is recommended but not required.

Previously:

  • Spring 2020, Travis Crum

Women's Human Rights in the World

This seminar examines women's human rights from a global comparative perspective. We will explore legal concepts under international and domestic law that impact gender equality such as formal vs. substantive equality, non-discrimination vs. equality and inclusion vs. transformation. We will engage in a focused inquiry into areas impacting women's human rights including violence, reproduction and political participation. We will discuss the evolution of women's rights, variations in state interpretation and implementation, and the social, economic, political and cultural factors that impact their realization.

Students will have the choice to take the seminar for two credits and write 3 reaction papers or three credits and write a longer paper at the end.

Previously:

  • Autumn 2019, Claudia M. Flores
  • Winter 2019, Claudia M. Flores
  • Spring 2018, Claudia M. Flores

Workshop: Constitutional Law

This workshop, conducted over three sequential quarters, exposes students to current academic work in constitutional law and theory and other areas of public law. Workshop sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers from outside speakers, at six to eight sessions to be conducted regularly throughout the academic year. Enrollment may be limited. This workshop may be taken for fulfillment of the Substantial Research Paper graduation requirement. Grading is based on a substantial paper (or two shorter papers) plus brief reaction papers on each of the workshop papers. As an alternative to writing a long paper, you may write two or more extended reaction papers (i.e., 10-12 pages) to the papers presented in the workshop. You have to get our approval in advance for this option. We encourage it if you find that you have a lot to say about some of the workshop papers. If you wish to receive Writing Project (WP) credit for this option, you must submit a draft of each of the two long response papers to us and satisfactorily incorporate our suggestions. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Bridget Anna Fahey and Farah Peterson
  • Winter 2021, Bridget Anna Fahey and Farah Peterson
  • Autumn 2020, Bridget Anna Fahey and Farah Peterson
  • Spring 2019, Aziz Huq and Justin Driver
  • Winter 2019, Aziz Huq and Justin Driver
  • Autumn 2018, Aziz Huq and Justin Driver
  • Spring 2018, Aziz Huq and Justin Driver
  • Winter 2018, Aziz Huq and Justin Driver
  • Autumn 2017, Aziz Huq and Justin Driver

Workshop: Public Law and Legal Theory

Working from a variety of methodological orientations, the workshop examines questions arising at the intersections of public law, legal theory, and interdisciplinary work in law and the social sciences, with an emphasis on politics, legal history, and legal theory. The topics are therefore varied, but for the first time, the fall quarter will have a specific topical focus: policing reform. Sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers by faculty members from other institutions. Students must enroll for the entire year and will receive one pass/fail credit. Students are required to read the papers, attend the workshop, ask questions, and to post questions to the online discussion board. The Public Law Workshop will meet on alternating Tuesday afternoons throughout the year. Students enrolling in the Public Law Workshop should check to make sure that they do not intend to take other Tuesday afternoon courses during any quarter throughout the year that would overlap with the Workshop. A series of reaction papers will be required for this workshop. Participation may be considered in final grading.

Previously:

  • Spring 2021, Richard McAdams, Ryan David Doerfler, Aziz Huq, Sonja Starr, and Bridget Anna Fahey
  • Winter 2020, Richard McAdams, Ryan David Doerfler, Aziz Huq, Sonja Starr, and Bridget Anna Fahey
  • Autumn 2020, Richard McAdams, Ryan David Doerfler, Aziz Huq, Sonja Starr, and Bridget Anna Fahey
  • Spring 2020, Aziz Huq, Daniel Jacob Hemel, Adam S Chilton, Jonathan Masur, and Thomas Ginsburg
  • Winter 2020, Aziz Huq, Daniel Jacob Hemel, Adam S Chilton, Jonathan Masur, and Thomas Ginsburg
  • Autumn 2019, Jonathan Masur, William Patrick Baude, Adam S Chilton, Ryan David Doerfler, and Thomas Ginsburg
  • Spring 2019, Jonathan Masur
  • Winter 2019, Jonathan Masur
  • Autumn 2018, Jonathan Masur
  • Spring 2018, Jonathan Masur, Richard H. Helmholz, Adam Chilton, Daniel J. Hemel, and Genevieve Lakier
  • Winter 2018, Jonathan Masur, Richard H. Helmholz, Adam Chilton, Daniel J. Hemel, and Genevieve Lakier
  • Autumn 2017, Jonathan Masur, Richard H. Helmholz, Adam Chilton, Daniel J. Hemel, and Genevieve Lakier