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 2020-21 and 2021-22 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.
Jump to a course
- Access to Justice
- Administrative Law
- Advanced Study: Laws
- American Indian Law
- Buddhism and Comparative Constitutional Law
- Civil Rights Clinic: Police Accountability
- Civil Rights Practicum
- Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions
- Comparative Constitutional Design
- Comparative Constitutional Studies
- Comparative Legal Institutions
- Constitutional Decision Making
- Constitutional Law for LL.M. Students
- Constitutional Law I: Governmental Structure
- Constitutional Law II: Freedom of Speech
- Constitutional Law III: Equal Protection and Substantive Due Process
- Constitutional Law V: Freedom of Religion
- Constitutional Law VII: Parent, Child, and State
- The Constitutional Rights of Minors from the Minors' Point of View
- Constitutionalism After AI
- Constitutions Lab: Myanmar
- Counterintelligence and Covert Action - Legal and Policy Issues
- Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process
- Criminal Procedure III: Further Issues In Criminal Adjudication
- Current Issues in Criminal and National Security Law
- Current Trends in Public Law Scholarship
- Education Law & Policy
- Election Law
- Employment Discrimination Law
- Fair Housing
- Federal Courts
- Federal Criminal Justice Practice and Issues
- First Amendment Theory
- Foreign Relations Law
- Hate Crime Law
- The History of American Federalism: Origins to the Civil War
- Immigrants' Rights Clinic
- Immigration Law
- The Interbellum Constitution: Union, Commerce, and Slavery in the Early 19th Century
- Introduction to American Law and Legal Institutions
- Jenner & Block Supreme Court and Appellate Clinic
- Law and Social Movements
- Legal History of the Founding Era
- The Law of Police
- The Law, Politics, and Policy of Policing
- Legislation and Statutory Interpretation
- LGBT Law
- Life (and Death) in the Law
- Mass Incarceration and Reform
- The New Abolitionists
- The Original Meaning of the Privileges or Immunities Clause
- Privacy and Modern Policing
- Privacy Law
- Public Land Law
- Public Law in the Time of Trump
- Regulating the Mass Public Sphere
- Religion, State and Multiculturalism
- Supreme Court Reform
- U.S. Supreme Court: Theory and Practice
- Workshop: Constitutional Law
- Workshop: Public Law and Legal Theory
Access to justice is a persistent and pressing problem in the American legal system. Significant structural barriers prevent people from exercising their rights and from getting fair outcomes from the civil legal system. Moreover, their lack of access to fair and equitable dispute resolution re-enforces existing systems of inequality. Drawing mostly on an emerging empirical literature on access to justice, this seminar will focus on the obstacles to providing quality civil legal aid and on solutions, including making courts less complex, increasing the supply of lawyers, and offering dispute resolution outside of the legal system. A major paper (20-25 pages) is required.
- Autumn 2021: Anna-Maria Marshall
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.
- Spring 2022: Jennifer Nou
- Winter 2022: David A. Strauss
- Autumn 2021: Jennifer Nou
- Spring 2021: Ryan D. Doerfler
- Winter 2021: Jennifer Nou
- Winter 2020: David A. Strauss
- Spring 2019: Jennifer Nou
- Spring 2018: Jennifer Nou
- Autumn 2017: Nicholas Stephanopoulos
Advanced Study: Laws
- Spring 2022: Justin Swinsick
- Winter 2022: Justin Swinsick
- Autumn 2021: Justin Swinsick
This course will consider 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. Last year, the Supreme Court decided a case that suggests half of Oklahoma, including Tulsa, is actually "Indian Country," and subject, in part, to tribal law. 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. This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: M. Todd Henderson
- Autumn 2019: M. Todd Henderson
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.
- Winter 2021: Tom Ginsburg, Benjamin Jacob Schonthal
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. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Craig Futterman
- Autumn 2021: Craig Futterman
- 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
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.
- 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
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 (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Sonja Starr
- Spring 2021: Sonja Starr
Designing "The Supreme Law of the Land" is challenging. Recent constitution-making exercises in Chile, Nepal and elsewhere have called new attention to the problems of institutional design of political systems. In this seminar we will examine the design and implementation of national constitutions, and how to understand Fundamental Laws around the world. In particular, we will address the following questions: What are the basic elements of constitutions? How do these elements differ across time, across region, and across regime type, and legal background? What is the process by which states draft and implement constitutions? What models, theories, and writings have influenced the framers of constitutions? How does Judicial Review works in different constitutional systems? We will first review the historical roots of constitutions and investigate their provisions and formal characteristics. We will also discuss the circumstances surrounding the drafting of several exemplary or noteworthy constitutions, from various regions of the world, their similarities and relevant differences. We will then examine selected features of institutional design in depth, and analyze the factors that make constitutions effective and enduring. Method of evaluation will be exam or major paper.
- Winter 2022: Rodrigo Delaveau Swett
In this seminar, we will study recent developments in constitutional law and politics from a comparative perspective. In particular, it explores the role of constitutional design in the context of recent threats to constitutionalism across the world. It has two distinctive features: first, it examines comparative constitutional law through the lens of pluri-national and deeply divided societies. Constitutions are supposed to provide political and legal mechanisms for resolving societal disputes, and a focus on deeply divided societies will allow us to examine this function closely. We will, therefore, draw our examples not only from constitutionally influential jurisdictions, but also from those outside the 'canon' of comparative constitutional law. Second, the seminar goes beyond a focus on courts and legal norms. Apart from constitutional courts, it includes a study of other constitutional institutions (such as legislatures, executives, political parties, and guarantor institutions such as electoral commissions, ombudsoffices, human rights and equality commissions, and anti-corruption bodies). Recommended (not required): any constitutional law/politics/theory class concerning any jurisdiction(s). This class has a final exam (2 credits), plus optional papers (3 credits). Students may also write a major paper (20-25 pages) for 3 credits.
- Spring 2022: Tarunabh Khaitan
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. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Tom Ginsburg
- Spring 2021: Tom Ginsburg
- Spring 2019: Tom Ginsburg
- Spring 2018: Tom Ginsburg
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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.
Students in each court will write mock Supreme Court opinions in a series of eight hypothetical cases. On average, each student in this seminar writes opinions totaling approximately 50 single-spaced pages. This includes SRP papers.
- Winter 2022: Geoffrey R. Stone
- Winter 2021: Geoffrey R. Stone
- Spring 2020: Geoffrey R. Stone
- Winter 2019: Geoffrey R. Stone
- Spring 2018: Geoffrey R. Stone
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.
- Spring 2022: Gerald N. Rosenberg
- Spring 2021: Gerald N. Rosenberg
- Autumn 2019: Gerald N. Rosenberg
- Autumn 2018: Gerald N. Rosenberg
- Autumn 2017: Gerald N. Rosenberg
This course provides an introduction to the Constitution's structural provisions. We will study the powers of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government as well as how the Constitution structures the spaces of overlap between them, including the administrative state. We will also study the Constitution's system of federalism, which distributes power vertically between the federal government and state and local governments. The course will provide an introduction to constitutional argumentation, sources of constitutional analysis, and certain topics in constitutional theory. This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Bridget A. Fahey
- Winter 2022: Alison LaCroix
- Autumn 2021: David A. Strauss
- Spring 2021: Bridget A. 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
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. Students may take a final exam or write a major paper (20-25 pages).
- Spring 2022: Geofrey R. Stone
- Winter 2022: Geofrey R. Stone
- 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
This class explores the doctrinal development of Equal Protection and substantive due process rights. We will, of course, explore the historical development of these rights. We will also think about how the rights interact with pressing present concerns related to social stratification, especially by gender and race.This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Aziz Huq
- Winter 2022: David A. Strauss
- Autumn 2021: Geoffrey R. Stone
- 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
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 or a series of short papers with class participation taken into account. Instructor consent required for paper to be considered for SRP certification. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2021: Mary Anne Case
- Winter 2020: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2019: Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2018: Mary Anne Case
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).
- Spring 2021: Emily Buss
- Spring 2019: Emily Buss
- Spring 2018: Emily Buss
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 email@example.com at your earliest convenience. Students interested in taking it for 3 credits will write an additional 10-15 page paper.
- Spring 2021: Emily Buss
- Autumn 2019: Emily Buss
- Winter 2018: Emily Buss
- Autumn 2018: Emily Buss
This seminar explores the effect that artificial intelligence (AI) has on constitutional rights and values. "AI" here means the range of actually existing computational instruments for making predictions and identifying correlations from large pools of data. "Constitutional values" is a term that captures not just the individual rights identified in the U.S. Constitution, but more generally the fundamental interests and structural norms picked out by the American constitution or other liberal democratic organic laws. AI is increasingly used in legal decision-making and their role is likely to increase in the next several decades, dramatically transforming our legal system. These new tools pose a set of challenges to constitutional values: This seminar explores those challenges. This class will require a series of research papers (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Aziz Huq
The coup d'etat earlier this year in Myanmar has created a horrific humanitarian situation. It has also brought a host of legal challenges, including: the question of who can properly represent the country at the United Nations and other international fora; the status of existing peace agreements with armed rebels; and the future constitution of the country. This Lab will grapple with these issues. It will first cover a series of background readings on the country, followed by a series of short assignments that will inform constitution-making efforts under way outside Myanmar. Enrollment is limited and by instructor approval only. Interested students should send a cv and statement of interest to Prof. Ginsburg. Group projects and memos will be the basis of evaluation. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Autumn 2021: Jason Gelbort, Tom Ginsburg
This seminar will focus on the constitutional and legal framework for counterintelligence and other instruments of national power that seek to neutralize and/or exploit our adversaries' intelligence activities against US national security interests. Such adversaries may include foreign intelligence services, terrorists, foreign criminal enterprises, cyber intruders, or some combination thereof. The seminar will consider both legal and policy issues raised in efforts to prevent adversarial espionage action -- overt, covert, or clandestine -- targeting US military, diplomatic, and economic interests at home and abroad. The seminar will also explore the role and overlap of covert action, roughly defined as action intended to influence events in another nation or territory without revealing the involvement of the sponsor. Although the primary focus of the seminar will be separation of powers issues and the role of executive power in counterintelligence and covert action, care will be taken to consider less frequently discussed implications for domestic and international economies and markets, as well as the extent to which economic and market considerations motivate policy making or legal decisions. The seminar will include short case studies from the Cold War and post-Cold War eras in the US, Latin America, the Middle East, and the former USSR, as well as recent events. The seminar is designed to minimize overlap with the material covered in The Law of Counterterrorism (LAWS 70704 or 43221) and National Security Issues (LAWS 70703 or 53217) by primarily focusing attention on state actors rather than nonstate actors. Grades will be based upon a final paper (20-25 pages), occasional short response papers, and reasonable class participation.
- Spring 2022: Stephen Cowen
This course covers the constitutional law regulating the investigatory process, including searches, seizures, and confessions. The grade is based on a final examination.
- Spring 2022: John Rappaport
- Winter 2022: Sharon R. Fairley
- Autumn 2021: Trevor Gardner
- Spring 2021: John Rappaport
- Winter 2021: Richard McAdams
- Autumn 2020: Sharon R. Fairley
- Winter 2020: Sharon R. Fairley
- Autumn 2019: John Rappaport
- Spring 2019: John Rappaport
- Winter 2019: Richards McAdams
- Spring 2018: Aziz Huq
- Winter 2018: John Rappaport
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.
- Winter 2021: Adam Mortara
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. Guest speakers may be invited to help facilitate discussion on certain topics. Criminal Law is a prerequisite.
- Winter 2022: Patrick J. Fitzgerald and Michael Y. Scudder
- Winter 2021: Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
- Winter 2020: Michael Y. Scudder and Patrick J. Fitzgerald
- Winter 2019: Patrick J. Fitzgerald
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. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Autumn 2021: Johnathan Masur and Eric A. Posner
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.
- Spring 2021: Susan Epstein
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.
- Spring 2021: Franita Smith
- Autumn 2019: Nicholas Stephanopolous
- Spring 2019: Nicholas Stephanopolous
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.
- Spring 2021: Martin Peter Greene
- Autumn 2019: Suja A. Thomas
- Winter 2019: James Whitehead
- Autumn 2017: James Whitehead
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.
- Spring 2021: Lee Fennell
This course covers the role of the federal courts in the federal system. Topics will include the jurisdiction of the federal courts, Congress's power over those courts, litigation against federal and state governments and their officials, and the relationships between federal and state courts. Constitutional Law I is a prerequisite, though it may be waived in special circumstances. The student's grade is based on class participation and a final take-home examination. NOTE: Unlike in previous years, this class may not use the traditional Hart and Wechsler casebook, or any casebook. Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I.
- Spring 2022: William Baude
- 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
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.
- Winter 2022: Michael Doss
- Winter 2021: Michael Doss
- Winter 2020: Michael Doss
- Winter 2019: Michael Doss
- Winter 2018: Michael Doss
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.
- Spring 2021: Erin Miller
This course examines the constitutional and statutory doctrines that regulate the conduct of American foreign relations. Topics include the distribution of foreign relations powers between the three branches of the federal government, the status of international law in U.S. courts, the scope of the treaty power, the validity of executive agreements, the preemption of state foreign relations activities, the power to declare and conduct war, and the political question and other doctrines regulating judicial review in foreign relations cases. This class has a final exam. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Curtis Bradley
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).
- Autumn 2020: Juan Carlos Linares
- Spring 2019: Juan Carlos Linares
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.
- Spring 2021: Alison LaCroix
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, conduct oral arguments and trials, 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, research and draft public policy reports, and provide support to immigrants' rights organizations. Past and current projects include the first challenge to indefinite detention under the PATRIOT Act, a civil rights lawsuit alleging Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment challenges against state law enforcement involved in an arrest that led to deportation, litigation against ICE detention centers for conditions of confinement during the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges to due process in removal proceedings, representation of asylum seekers and human trafficking victims, and publication of the first guide to the immigration consequences of criminal convictions for criminal defense attorneys in Illinois. 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. 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.
- Spring 2022: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2022: A. Nicole Hallett
- Autumn 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Autumn 2020: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2020: A. Nicole Hallett
- Winter 2020: A. Nicole Hallett
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.
- Spring 2021: A. Nicole Hallett
- Spring 2020: Adam S. Chilton
- Autumn 2018: Allison Tirres
- Spring 2018: Adam S. Chilton
This seminar examines the legal and intellectual history of debates concerning U.S. constitutional law and politics between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, approximately 1815 to 1861. Topics to be discussed include the federal-state relationship, the commerce power, internal improvements, the market revolution, federal and state regulation of slavery, the role of the federal courts, and the development of national identity. Students who wish to earn 2 credits will be required to complete reaction papers. Students who wish to earn 3 credits must either do the reaction papers plus a 10-12 page paper, or just complete a larger paper (no reaction papers) that is 20-25 pages long. Students choosing the larger paper may an earn SRP credit. Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Alison LaCroix
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.
- Winter 2021: Tom Ginsburg
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.
- Spring 2022: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Winter 2022: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Autumn 2021: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Spring 2021: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Winter 2021: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Autumn 2020: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Spring 2020: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Winter 2020: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Autumn 2019: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Winter 2019: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Autumn 2018: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Spring 2018: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Winter 2018: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
- Autumn 2017: David A. Strauss, Sarah M. Konsky
Movements for social justice have always struggled with law as both a bulwark against change as well as a potential tool for reform or even emancipation. This course explores the complex relationship between social justice movements and law, mostly in the U.S. context. Key themes will include (1) how social movement pressures have shaped doctrinal developments across many areas of law, often in underappreciated ways; (2) debates over the role of litigation and legislation in social movement strategy, as well as civil disobedience and other forms of defying legal authority; (3) the role of lawyers in social movements and questions of leadership and accountability, including common dilemmas in lawyering practice. Case studies will be both historical (e.g., Progressive Era, Civil Rights Movement) and contemporary (e.g., Occupy, Movement for Black Lives). Attention will also be paid to parallels and differences with conservative and right-wing legal movements. Grading will be based on weekly discussion questions, class participation, and a final research paper on a topic of the student's choice (20-25 pages).
- Winter 2022: Darryl Li
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 will have an 8-hour take-home exam.
- Spring 2022: Farah Peterson
- Spring 2021: Farah Peterson
This course will comprehensively survey the law governing police in the United States, beyond what is already extensively covered in Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process (so a student may take both courses). Topics include state and local law creating and empowering 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, especially regarding car stops; Fourth Amendment and 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; the First Amendment and statutory law of policing public protests; section 1983 lawsuits against the police and qualified immunity; federal and state law for prosecuting the police; the law of injunctive relief against police; and the policy choice between reform and abolition. The grade is based on a final examination.
- Winter 2022: Richard McAdams
- Spring 2021: Richard McAdams
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. Students can do an exam and a 10-12 page paper to earn 3 credits, or they can do exam only for 2 credits, or major paper for 3 credits with possible SRP credit. Participation may be considered in final grading. Criminal Procedure is suggested as a pre-requisite, but not required.
- Autumn 2021: Sharon R. Fairley
- Autumn 2020: Sharon R. Fairley
- Autumn 2019: Sharon R. Fairley
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 the courts. The student's grade is based on a final examination.
- Spring 2022: Ryan D. Doerfler
- Spring 2021: Farah Peterson, Jennifer Nou, Ryan D. Doerfler, and Richard A. Epstein
- Autumn 2019: Jennifer Nou
- Spring 2018: Richard A. Epstein
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, free speech rights, and nondiscrimination principles. This class requires a major paper. Participation may be considered in final grading. The first-class session will be held via Zoom, but all other sessions are in-person.
- Winter 2022: Camilla Taylor
- Winter 2021: Camilla Taylor
- Winter 2020: Camilla Taylor
- Winter 2019: Camilla Taylor
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 three response papers, co-draft a statute in one area of law, and participate in jury deliberations. Grade will also be based on class participation.
- Spring 2022: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2021: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2020: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2019: Herschella Conyers
- Spring 2018: Herschella Conyers
Mass Incarceration and Reform surveys 21st Century movements to achieve criminal reform, with a focus on efforts to reduce racial discrimination and disparities. We will examine state and federal reform movements in the arenas of bail, sentencing, jury selection, discovery, and exculpatory evidence, among others. Our focus will be doctrinal rather than policy-based, emphasizing the legal, constitutional, and legislative underpinnings of these reform efforts. This seminar will highlight the racial equity concerns that animated many of these reform efforts and familiarize students with key constitutional provisions that have served as bulwarks for criminal reform movements. More broadly, this seminar will provide concrete ideas for how lawyers can engage in movement reform and systemic change. Although we'll focus on reform in the criminal legal system, our discussions will provide tools for those interested in reform in other contexts as well. We will look at criminal reform through a uniquely practical lens, talking through strategic mechanisms that advocates use to transform the law, including systemic impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and court-watching. We will investigate the evolution of each law reform, for example, watching how battle-lines were drawn and redrawn by courts during the federal sentencing revolution that began in 2005. We will also discuss the next frontiers for reform. There are no prerequisites. Grading will be based on a combination of class participation and an exam (8 hour take-home), or class participation and a major paper. Students who only take the exam will earn 2 credits. Students wishing to earn 3 credits will write a major paper on a topic of their choosing, with the option of writing a judicial opinion or a legislative proposal enacting a new criminal reform.
- Spring 2022: Alison Siegler
This seminar will discuss the current movement to abolish police, prisons, and the prison industrial complex more broadly. We will read the work of academics and activists like Mariame Kaba, Allegra M. McLeod, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Angela Davis, and others, who are writing within and about this movement. We will read these works with an eye toward the answers to four broad questions: What is abolition? Why is abolition necessary? How will abolition come about? What does a post-abolition world look like? In seeking answers to these questions, the seminar will consider what role law has to play in either advancing or hindering this modern abolitionist movement.This class requires a series of research papers (20-25 pages). Participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2022: Adam Davidson
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.
- Spring 2021: William Baude
Law enforcement in modern criminal investigations uses sophisticated tools to obtain voluminous, often private, information. These tools can include forensic searches of phones and social media accounts; stingrays; precise location information obtained from phones and social media accounts; wiretaps of phone and social media accounts; and network intrusions/hacking. This course will explore the challenges of trying to regulate these cutting-edge methods. Students will become familiar with the tools used, their benefits to law enforcement, and their privacy challenges. We will evaluate the costs and benefits of different approaches to regulating law enforcement's use of these tools-not only to privacy and to law enforcement capabilities but also with respect to separation of powers and other institutional concerns. Students will prepare several short papers, each about 4-5 pages in length, that will require some outside research. Participation will be considered in the final grading.
- Autumn 2021: Vikas Didwania
This course 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; state data protection laws, European privacy law; the relationship between privacy and the First Amendment; and restrictions on governmental investigations and surveillance. The student's grade is based on a final examination and class participation.
- Spring 2022: Lior Strahilevitz
- Spring 2021: Filippo Maria Lancieri
- Autumn 2019: Lior Strahilevitz (as Privacy)
- Winter 2018: Lior Strahilevitz (as Privacy)
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.
- Autumn 2020: R. H. Helmholz
- Autumn 2018: R. H. Helmholz
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.
- Autumn 2020: Jonathan Masur and Eric A. Posner
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.
- Spring 2021: Genevieve Lakier
Religious minorities are seeking accommodations in a variety of forms: exemptions (kosher and halal regulations); recognition (representation quotas); assistance (subsidies, museums); self-government (schools, religious courts, territorial sovereignty) and more. Drawing on the rich experience of countries where such accommodations were granted, the course will inquire into the legitimacy and problems associated with such accommodations. In doing so, the course will draw on modern theories of multiculturalism and religion and state designs. Principal topics will include: Liberal multiculturalism, theory and practice; Group accommodations in a democracy; A survey of religious groups and illiberal practices; Traditional schemes of religious accommodations, with special reference to the Ottoman millet system; The reality of religious accommodations in Western democracies (United States, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Germany); The reality of religious accommodations in the Middle East, with special reference to Israel; the problem of minorities within minorities; essentialism, secularism in divided communities and reform movements. This class requires a major paper (20-25 pages).
- Spring 2022: Michael Karayanni
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.
- Winter 2021: Ryan D. Doerfler
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 moot court presentation.
- Autumn 2021: Sarah M. Konsky and Michael Scodro
- 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
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.
- Spring 2022: Bridget A. Fahey and Farah Peterson
- Winter 2022: Bridget A. Fahey and Farah Peterson
- Autumn 2021: Bridget A. Fahey and Farah Peterson
- Spring 2021: Bridget A. Fahey and Farah Peterson
- Winter 2021: Bridget A. Fahey and Farah Peterson
- Autumn 2020: Bridget A. 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
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. 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.
- Spring 2022: Ryan D. Doerfler, Sharon R. Fairley, Tom Ginsburg, Hajin Kim, Joshua C. Macey, John Rappaport, and Sonja Starr
- Winter 2022: Ryan D. Doerfler, Sharon R. Fairley, Tom Ginsburg, Hajin Kim, Joshua C. Macey, John Rappaport, and Sonja Starr
- Autumn 2021: Ryan D. Doerfler, Sharon R. Fairley, Tom Ginsburg, Hajin Kim, Joshua C. Macey, John Rappaport, and Sonja Starr
- Spring 2021: Richard McAdams, Ryan D. Doerfler, Aziz Huq, Sonja Starr, and Bridget A. Fahey
- Winter 2020: Richard McAdams, Ryan D. Doerfler, Aziz Huq, Sonja Starr, and Bridget A. Fahey
- Autumn 2020: Richard McAdams, Ryan D. Doerfler, Aziz Huq, Sonja Starr, and Bridget A. Fahey
- Spring 2020: Aziz Huq, Daniel Hemel, Adam S. Chilton, Jonathan Masur, and Tom Ginsburg
- Winter 2020: Aziz Huq, Daniel Hemel, Adam S. Chilton, Jonathan Masur, and Tom Ginsburg
- Autumn 2019: Jonathan Masur, William Baude, Adam S. Chilton, Ryan D. Doerfler, and Tom Ginsburg
- Spring 2019: Jonathan Masur
- Winter 2019: Jonathan Masur
- Autumn 2018: Jonathan Masur
- Spring 2018: Jonathan Masur, R. H. Helmholz, Adam S. Chilton, Daniel Hemel, and Genevieve Lakier
- Winter 2018: Jonathan Masur, R. H. Helmholz, Adam S. Chilton, Daniel Hemel, and Genevieve Lakier
- Autumn 2017: Jonathan Masur, R. H. Helmholz, Adam S. Chilton, Daniel Hemel, and Genevieve Lakier