Equality and Human Rights Courses
The courses listed below provide a taste of the Equality and Human Rights courses offered at the Law School, although no formal groupings exist in our curriculum. This list includes the courses taught in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 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.
American Legal History: The Twentieth Century
Spring 2019, Laura Weinrib
This course examines major legal and constitutional conflicts in twentieth century American history. Topics include law and social movements, the role of the courts, rights consciousness, the legal profession, and legal thought. Students will connect legal texts and legal struggles to broader developments in social, cultural, and political history. Grading is based on class participation and a final take-home examination.
- Spring 2018, Laura Weinrib
Spring 2019, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy
The Big Problems course will use multidisciplinary approaches to try to understand and tackle the most important problems facing our country or the world. The first 8 weeks will be taught by the instructors and outside experts, focusing on problems such as the Zika virus, Syrian migration to Europe, cybersecurity, nuclear waste storage, opioid addiction, sex trafficking, and policing and race relations. Students will work in teams of 2 business and 2 law students to develop feasible policy or private sector solutions to a problem of their choosing and make a presentation in the last 2 weeks. Presentations will be made to instructors, outside experts and fellow students. Class participation may be considered in final grading. Final grade will be based on a major paper (20-25 pages).
- Spring 2018, David Weisbach, Anup Malani, Robert Topel, and Kevin Murphy
Child Exploitation, Human Trafficking & the Supply Chain
Winter 2019, Virginia Kendall
This seminar provides a comprehensive, practical introduction to the history and present-day reality of child sexual exploitation and trafficking, as well as to the interconnected web of domestic and transnational federal laws and law enforcement efforts launched in response to this global challenge. The class will use a text written by the professor and a colleague who have the distinctive perspective of two individuals who have spent their careers in the trenches investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating these intricate and commonly emotional cases. The class will offer open debate about child sexual abuse by stripping it of its unhelpful, constricted definitions, and by candidly discussing the state of the law, the criminal justice process, and the treatment of offenders and victims. The seminar examines today's system of federal anti-exploitation laws including the arrival of commercial supply chain laws; the connection between modern communications technologies, such as the Internet, and the rise in U.S. and foreign child exploitation; the unique challenges posed by transnational investigations; organized crime's increasing domination over the commercial sexual exploitation of children; the current state of the U.S. government's transnational anti-trafficking efforts; the myriad international legal instruments designed to enhance transnational enforcement efforts; how, during investigations and trials, to avoid re-injuring the child-victims; the hallmarks of an effective trial strategy; the most promising investigative and trial avenues for the defense; and, what contemporary research tells us about charging and sentencing-related issues, including victimization and recidivism rates. Taught by federal district court judge, Hon. Virginia M. Kendall. Final grade will be based on a major paper of 20-25 pages. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.
- Winter 2018, Virginia Kendall
Winter 2018, Richard McAdams
This seminar will focus on policing and police reform in large American cities, especially Chicago. We will examine the history of the Chicago Police Department and other large city police departments; recent crime levels in Chicago and other cities; municipal practices regarding hiring, training, unionizing, and deployment of police, including community policing; stop and frisk practices; police shootings and other uses of force; citizen complaints and internal discipline; Fourth Amendment doctrine relevant to policing use of force; and institutional mechanisms of accountability. Students will write a series of reaction memos and carry on a discussion regarding the readings and make a brief presentation about a suggestion for reform in one of the last classes. The grade will be based on the memos, the discussion, and the presentation. Students may qualify for an additional credit hour by writing a substantial paper.
Civil Rights Clinic: Police Accountability
Spring 2019, Craig Futterman
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.
- Autumn 2017, Craig Futterman
- Winter 2018, Craig Futterman
- Spring 2018, Craig Futterman
- Autumn 2018, Craig Futterman
- Winter 2019, Craig Futterman
Civil Rights Practicum
Spring 2019, Aziz Huq
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.
- Autumn 2017, Aziz Huq
- Winter 2018, Aziz Huq
- Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
- Autumn 2018, Aziz Huq
- Winter 2019, Aziz Huq
The Constitution Goes to School
Spring 2019, Justin Driver
This course will examine how the Supreme Court's constitutional opinions have both shaped and misshaped the nation's public schools. In 1969, the Supreme Court famously declared that students do not "shed their constitutional rights when they enter the schoolhouse gate." Not surprisingly, though, Supreme Court Justices both before and since have bitterly contested the precise scope of students' constitutional rights in the elementary and secondary school contexts. Some Justices, moreover, have concluded that it is typically unwise for the judiciary to enter the educational realm, lest the Supreme Court turn into a schoolboard for the entire nation. Even if such fears are overblown, however, there can be no doubt that the Court's constitutional interpretations have had significant consequences for schools charged with transforming students into citizens. Constitutional topics will include: freedom of speech, establishment of religion, free exercise of religion, searches and seizures, cruel and unusual punishment, due process, and equal protection. Educational topics will include: homeschooling, zero tolerance policies, corporal punishment, school funding, school uniforms, racial desegregation, strip searches, single-sex schools, off campus speech, drug testing, unauthorized immigration, the school-to-prison pipeline, and book banning. There are no prerequisites for enrollment. The student's grade is based on a take-home final examination and class participation. This class is open to non-law students.
- Spring 2018, Justin Driver
Constitutional Law II: Freedom of Speech
Winter 2019, Geoffrey R. Stone
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.
- Autumn 2017, Laura Weinrib
- Winter 2018, Geoffrey R. Stone
- Autumn 2018, Genevieve Lakier
Constitutional Law III: Equal Protection and Substantive Due Process
Spring 2019, Justin Driver
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 other characteristics, and the recognition of certain fundamental rights. Throughout, students consider certain 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 take-home examination and class participation.
- Autumn 2017, Nicholas Stephanopoulos
- Spring 2018, Justin Driver
- Winter 2019, David A. Strauss
Constitutional Law V: Freedom of Religion
Spring 2019, Mary Anne Case
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.
- Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case
Constitutional Law VI: U.S. Constitutional Rights in Comparative Perspective
Autumn 2017, Rivka Weill
The course explores U.S. constitutional law's position regarding the complex burning dilemmas of the twenty first century. These include the death penalty, hate speech, terrorist kidnapping, immigration, secession and nullification, political boycott, the right to bear arms, torture, targeted killings, election integrity and the rights to vote and be elected, the right to marry, freedom of the press, equal protection and affirmative action, abortion, and religious free exercise (especially as it arises in the context of religious sacraments and religious dress). We will examine these issues theoretically and comparatively using Canada, Germany, India, Israel, South Africa and the United Kingdom as case studies. We will reveal fascinating dialogues within countries and between countries on these issues. Assessment for the course will be based on a combination of class participation (10%) and a take-home final examination (90%).
Constitutional Law VII: Parent, Child, and State
Spring 2019, Emily Buss
This course considers the role that constitutional law plays in shaping children's development. Among the topics discussed are children's and parent's rights of expression and religious exercise; 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.
- Spring 2018, Emily Buss
The Constitutional Rights of Minors from the Minors' Point of View
Autumn 2018, Emily Buss
In this seminar, a small number of law students will collaborate with Professor Buss in teaching a course to high school students from the Woodlawn Charter School and the Laboratory Schools on students' constitutional rights in school. Each class will focus on a different case and related doctrine, and will engage the high school students in a discussion of a scenario that asks them to apply the doctrine to new facts. Topics will include student speech and religious exercise, drug testing and locker searches, procedural rights in the context of disciplinary actions, and race and gender discrimination, among others. Before each class students will read an edited version of a Supreme Court case and will prepare to discuss a case study. After each class the high school students will write a brief reflection piece. Each law student will be paired with two high school students, and will interact with those students in and out of class. Law students will check in with the high school students to assist with class preparation, and will review and comment on the students' reflection pieces. During class, law students will help facilitate the small group discussions. Law students will also submit brief weekly reports of their students' class participation and their out-of-class interactions. At some point in or after the quarter (the timing will be at the law students' discretion, within the time frame permitted under the Law School's paper policy), Law Student's will write a paper that discusses one of the topics we have covered, and that particularly draws on the high school students' perspective, shared in and out of class, to develop a theme relevant to the doctrine in question. Students interested in applying for this class should send a note of interest to Professor Buss email@example.com.
- Winter 2018, Emily Buss
Criminal and Juvenile Justice Project Clinic
Spring 2019, Herschella G. Conyers
The Project provides law and social work students the supervised opportunity to represent children and young adults accused of crime in juvenile and criminal court. Representation includes addressing the social, psychological and educational needs of our clients and their families. In addition to direct representation, students are involved in policy reform and public education including work with coalitions on issues of juvenile life without parole, youth violence, mass incarceration, and the collateral consequences of conviction. Students will participate in case selection and litigation strategies. Students will be expected to do legal research and writing including drafting motions and memoranda on various legal issues, i.e. evidentiary questions, sentencing, etc. and brief writing. Additionally, students will do pre-trial investigation and fact development including interviewing clients and witnesses. 3L students who have taken a trial practice course will have the opportunity to argue motions and second chair hearings and trials. Policy work will include general research on issues, drafting statement and position papers and attendance at meetings. Corequisite: Evidence must be taken at some point that the student is in the clinic.
- Autumn 2017, Herschella G. Conyers and Randolph Stone
- Winter 2018, Herschella G. Conyers and Randolph Stone
- Spring 2018, Herschella G. Conyers and Randolph Stone
- Autumn 2018, Herschella G. Conyers
- Winter 2019, Herschella G. Conyers
Criminal Procedure I: The Investigative Process
Spring 2019, John Rappaport
This course focuses on the law regulating the investigatory process, including searches, seizures, and confessions. The grade is based on a final examination.
- Winter 2018, John Rappaport
- Spring 2018, Aziz Huq
- Winter 2019, Richards McAdams
Criminal Procedure II: From Bail to Jail
Spring 2019, Alison Siegler
Criminal Procedure II surveys the criminal process after a case comes into court, from the formal filing of charges through the pretrial process, the trial, and beyond. Criminal Procedure I is NOT a prerequisite, and no knowledge of Criminal Procedure I is needed for this course. While Criminal Procedure I examines the rules that govern police investigations, this course examines the constitutional and procedural rules that govern at the next chronological stage, as the case moves from the arrest through the court process. Topics include: pretrial release and detention, the preliminary hearing, the grand jury, the charging instrument, joinder and severance, discovery, selected trial issues (including confrontation rights), plea bargaining and negotiation, and sentencing. We also examine prosecutorial discretion and ethical issues surrounding the representation of criminal defendants. Guest speakers typically include two U.S. District Court judges, a federal magistrate judge, and a current or former Assistant U.S. Attorney. The final grade is based on an eight-hour take-home examination. Class participation may be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2018, Alison Siegler
The Demagogue and Executive Power
Autumn 2018, Eric Posner
This seminar explores the question of executive power through the figure of the demagogue, and the related phenomenon of populism. Taking a historical approach, we examine the role of the demagogue at several stages of American history: the founding, the Jeffersonian era, the Jacksonian era; the populist era; the New Deal; and the modern era. We ask, What is a demagogue? What is wrong with demagoguery? What is the relationship between the demagogue and the U.S. Constitution? What is the role of the demagogue in a democracy? We also look at some international comparisons. The readings will be mainly historical.Grades will be based on class participation and reaction papers.
Exoneration Project Clinic
Spring 2019, Tara Thompson, David Owens, and Joshua Tepfer
The Exoneration Project is a post-conviction clinical project that represents people convicted of crimes of which they are innocent. Students working in our project assist in every aspect of representation including selecting cases, advising clients, investigating and developing evidence, drafting pleadings, making oral arguments, examining witnesses at evidentiary hearings, and working on all aspects of appellate litigation. Through participation in our project, students explore issues of error and inequality in the criminal justice system, including police and prosecutorial misconduct, the use of faulty scientific evidence, coerced confessions, unreliable eyewitness testimony, and ineffective assistance of counsel. The Exoneration Project is an intensive, rigorous experience designed for students who are committed to providing the best possible representation to deserving clients. Second-year students wishing to enroll in the Project are encouraged to take Evidence in their second year. Third-year students are required to complete, prior to their third year, Evidence and the Intensive Trial Practice Workshop. Students are also strongly encouraged but not required to take Criminal Procedure I, and Criminal Procedure II. Students selected for this project will receive credit for the work they do in accordance with the credit rules for all other clinical programs.
- Autumn 2017, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
- Winter 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
- Spring 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, and Russell Ainsworth
- Autumn 2018, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth, and Karl Leonard
- Winter 2019, Tara Thompson, David Owens, Joshua Tepfer, Russell Ainsworth, and Karl Leonard
Winter 2018, Lee Fennell
This seminar will focus on the law and policy of fair housing, broadly construed. Significant 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 dynamics of segregation and concentrated poverty will be examined, as well as the effects of zoning and other land use controls. Additional topics may include urban squatting, rent control, gentrification, subprime lending, the siting of locally undesirable land uses, and the use of eminent domain in "blighted" areas. The student's grade will be based on class participation and a series of short papers. Students may not take this course pass/fail.
Fairness in Law and Economics
Winter 2019, Lee Fennell and Richard McAdams
This seminar will explore the connections between fairness and the economic analysis of law. We will probe the standard view that fairness and the economic concept of efficiency are rival considerations, and consider the extent to which they may complement each other. Topics will include a mix of positive analysis (how fairness perceptions influence the way parties behave), normative analysis (including questions of how best to carry out redistribution), and selected legal applications in different doctrinal areas (likely including property, contracts, torts, and criminal law, among others). The student's grade will be based on a series of short papers and class participation.
Feminist Economics and Public Policy
Spring 2019, Diana Strassmann
This seminar will explore advances in feminist economics and the implications for public policy in local and global communities. Drawing from feminist economics research, the seminar will address the persistence of gender inequality in societies around the world and proposed policy solutions. Topics will include gender relations and the organization of domestic and market work, violence against women, workplace and pay equality, gendered access to resources, education, and healthcare, and gender and property rights. Evaluation will be based on class participation, and short research/response papers. Non-law students must have instructor consent to enroll.
Spring 2019, Martha C. Nussbaum
The course is an introduction to the major varieties of philosophical feminism. After studying some key historical texts in the Western tradition (Wollstonecraft, Rousseau, J. S. Mill), we examine four types of contemporary philosophical feminism: Liberal Feminism (Susan Moller Okin, Martha Nussbaum), Radical Feminism (Catharine MacKinnon, Andrea Dworkin), Difference Feminism (Carol Gilligan, Annette Baier, Nel Noddings), and Postmodern "Queer" Gender Theory and trans femism (Judith Butler, Michael Warner and others). After studying each of these approaches, we will focus on political and ethical problems of contemporary international feminism, asking how well each of the approaches addresses these problems. Undergraduates may enroll only with the permission of the instructor. This class has an 8 hour take-home final exam or major paper of 20-25 pages.
The Future of Voting Rights
Spring 2019, Nicholas Stephanopoulos
This seminar will cover the past, present, and future of one of the most important civil rights statutes ever passed: the Voting Rights Act. Topics to be addressed include: (1) the Act's constitutionality; (2) how the Act applies to redistricting; (3) how the Act applies to restrictions of the right to vote; and (4) the intricate relationships between descriptive representation for racial minority groups, substantive representation, and American political geography. Students may write papers of 20-25 pages either on the Act or on any topic pertaining to race and election law.Class participation may also be considered in final grading.
Winter 2019, Martha C. Nussbaum and David Weisbach
Global income and wealth are highly concentrated. The richest 2% of the population own about half of the global assets. Per capita income in the United States is around $47,000 and in Europe it is around $30,500, while in India it is $3,400 and in Congo, it is $329. There are equally unsettling inequalities in longevity, health, and education. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we ask what duties nations and individuals have to address these inequalities and what are the best strategies for doing so. What role must each country play in helping itself? What is the role of international agreements and agencies, of NGOs, of political institutions, and of corporations in addressing global poverty? How do we weigh policies that emphasize growth against policies that emphasize within-country equality, health, or education? In seeking answers to these questions, the class will combine readings on the law and economics of global development with readings on the philosophy of global justice. A particular focus will be on the role that legal institutions, both domestic and international, play in discharging these duties. For, example, we might focus on how a nation with natural resources can design legal institutions to ensure they are exploited for the benefit of the citizens of the country. Students will be expected to write a paper (20-25 pages), which may qualify for substantial writing credit. Non-law students need instructor consent to enroll. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.
Greenberg Seminar: Black Lives Matter, Why?
Spring 2018, Herschella G. Conyers, Amy Hermalik, and Xiaorong Wu
#BlackLivesMatter, why? In this class, we will examine Black Lives Matter, its meteoric leap from hashtag to rights movement, and where it goes from here. We will explore the roots of the movement, criticisms and pushback, intersectionality, and the questions it raises for the nation's future. We will read articles and essays, and also draw on a number of podcasts and movies to round out our discussion and come to a clearer understanding of Black Lives Matter. The class will meet twice in the fall, once in the winter, and twice in the spring.
- Autumn 2017, Herschella G. Conyers, Amy Hermalik, and Xiaorong Wu
- Winter 2018, Herschella G. Conyers, Amy Hermalik, and Xiaorong Wu
Greenberg Seminar: Crime and Politics in Charm City: A Portrait of the Urban Drug War
Spring 2018, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams
We will explore a series of works on urban crime, politics, and policing, with an emphasis on the City of Baltimore: David Simon, "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," Sudhir Venkatesh, "Gang Leader for a Day," Jill Loevy, "Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America," and all of "The Wire." We will focus particularly on the drug war - the economics and violence of the trade; the culture of the police bureaucracy; alternative law enforcement strategies such as informants and wiretapping; the politics of race, crime rates, and legalization; and the effects of addiction. But these works also examine the effects of declining blue collar jobs and weakening labor unions; the effects of race, incumbency, and corruption on local politics; the challenges and failures of urban education and child welfare agencies; and the role of the city newspaper in self-governance. Preference is given to 3L students. Graded Pass/Fail.
- Autumn 2017, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams
- Winter 2018, Jonathan Masur and Richard McAdams
Greenberg Seminar: Discrimination in American Institutions
Spring 2018, Adam Chilton and Emily Buss
Although it has been over fifty years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, racial discrimination remains a major problem in America's institutions. In this Greenberg seminar, each session we will watch a documentary film that explores racial discrimination in a different institution that is central to life in America. These will include areas like criminal justice, education, housing policy, political participation, and employment. We will specifically explore the de jure and de facto drivers of discrimination, and ways that legal reforms may help to address these problems. We will also discuss the extent to which the films we watch are successful at identifying and accurately characterizing institutional discrimination, and the power of media to drive awareness and change.
- Autumn 2017, Adam Chilton and Emily Buss
- Winter 2018, Adam Chilton and Emily Buss
Greenberg Seminar: Identity Politics and the State
Winter 2019, Julie Roin and Saul Levmore
We live in an era of identity politics, though a preference for one's family and "group" seems to be hard-wired. How do these affiliations affect loyalty to a state or the emerging preference, especially by the well-educated, for thinking of oneself as a global citizen rather as one loyal to a particular tribe, religion, state, or nation? How do these affiliations affect domestic politics, our own lives, and national policies? We will discuss these and related questions by grounding them in five books, beginning with Amy Chua's Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations, before moving on to more local puzzles and conflicts.
- Autumn 2018, Julie Roin and Saul Levmore
Greenberg Seminar: Sex and Civil Rights
Spring 2018, Jane Dailey and Geoffrey R. Stone
Interracial sex and marriage were regulated in America for more than three hundred years. After emancipation in 1865, state anti-miscegenation laws became the cornerstone for the postwar world of racial segregation. These laws remained on the books until 1967, when the Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional in the case of Loving v. Virginia. This seminar puts issues of sex, particularly interracial sex, at the center of the story of the modern civil rights movement by focusing on the white supremacist South's foundational fears of sexual danger and the state anti-miscegenation laws that articulated and legitimated those fears. The seminar examines the centrality of sex to each moment in the creation of black rights as well as to the sustained resistance to those rights, and will also address the issue of gay rights in the modern era.
- Autumn 2017, Jane Dailey and Geoffrey R. Stone
- Winter 2018, Jane Dailey and Geoffrey R. Stone
Greenberg Seminar: Stories of Migration
Spring 2019, Emily Buss and Claudia Flores
People migrate for many reasons. Some search for better lives and opportunities, others flee poverty, violence and political unrest, and still others migrate to join family and build communities. Many family histories include a migration story, and these stories are a central aspect of modern life for people around the world. This seminar will explore these stories, from the decision to leave home, to the journey itself, to the process of finding a temporary or permanent home, through novels and films.Reading and viewing will likely include: Americanah, by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013 novel which tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who emigrates to the United States to attend university); Exit West, by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid (2017 novel focused on themes of emigration and refugees); a selection of short stories from The Refugees (2017), by Vietnamese author Viet Thanh Nguyen; Which Way Home (2009 documentary that follows unaccompanied child migrants on their journey through Mexico toward the United States); and The Joy Luck Club (1993 film telling the story of four Chinese women who immigrated to the United States, and their relationship to their adult daughters who grew up in the United States).
- Autumn 2018, Emily Buss and Claudia Flores
- Winter 2019, Emily Buss and Claudia Flores
Greenberg Seminar: What is Racism?
Spring 2018, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq
This seminar explores the historical, sociological, and cultural roots of racism and racial ideologies. It examines the relationship of racism and racial ideologies with different forms of political governance, including segregation and apartheid, and explores the legal mechanisms that have both permitted and prohibited racism in various settings. The seminar will mainly focus on the meaning of racism most prevalent in the United States but will also, where appropriate, consider comparative examples.
- Autumn 2017, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq
- Winter 2018, Daniel Abebe and Aziz Huq
Greenberg Seminar: Why I don't like to talk about race (and gender)
Spring 2019, Herschella G. Conyers and Amy Hermalik
In this class we will explore why it is so difficult for people to have conversations about race and gender. Our quest throughout the seminar will be to develop a better understanding of the unique historical and cultural underpinnings that make modern discussions about race and gender fraught with blame, denial, fear and discomfort, and we will do so primarily through materials focused on race. We will explore the history of racism in the U.S. by reading portions of Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. We will also explore how whiteness interacts with this history by reading White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. We will watch the TedX talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that was the basis for her book We Should All Be Feminists and may watch an additional movie or read a supplemental article. While there are significant differences in what underpins discussions about race and gender, there is also significant overlap and conversations about either are incomplete when they don't acknowledge that both matter. In developing a better understanding of why modern discussions about race and gender are so difficult, we intend for participants to walk away from the seminar with a better understanding of their own relationship with the issue and how to navigate it in social and political contexts.
- Autumn 2018, Herschella G. Conyers and Amy Hermalik
- Winter 2019, Herschella G. Conyers and Amy Hermalik
Hate Crime Law
Spring 2019, Juan Carlos Linares
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. 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 of 20-25 pages.
Autumn 2018, Martha C. Nussbaum
The three leading schools of the Hellenistic era (starting in Greece in the late fourth century B. C. E. and extending through the second century C. E. in Rome) - Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics - produced philosophical work of lasting value, frequently neglected because of the fragmentary nature of the Greek evidence and people's (unjustified) contempt for Roman philosophy. We will study in a detailed and philosophically careful way the major ethical arguments of all three schools. Topics to be addressed include: the nature and role of pleasure; the role of the fear of death in human life; other sources of disturbance (such as having definite ethical beliefs?); the nature of the emotions and their role in a moral life; the nature of appropriate action; the meaning of the injunction to "live in accordance with nature". If time permits we will say something about Stoic political philosophy and its idea of global duty. Major sources (read in English) will include the three surviving letters of Epicurus and other fragments; the skeptical writings of Sextus Empiricus; the presentation of Stoic ideas in the Greek biographer Diogenes Laertius and the Roman philosophers Cicero and Seneca. This course complements the Latin course on Stoic Ethics in the winter quarter, and many will enjoy doing both. Admission by permission of the instructor. Permission must be sought in writing by September 15. Prerequisite: An undergraduate major in philosophy or some equivalent solid philosophy preparation, plus my permission. This is a 500 level course. Ph.D. students in Philosophy, Classics, and Political Theory may enroll without permission.
The History of Civil Liberties in the United States
Winter 2019, Laura Weinrib
This seminar examines changing understandings of civil liberties in American legal history. It emphasizes legal and ideological contests over the meaning of free speech, religious freedom, and reproductive rights during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Readings explore the intersection between legal struggles and broader developments in social, cultural, and political history, with a particular focus on the labor, civil rights, and feminist movements.This class requires a major paper of 20-25 pages. Students will have option of writing a series of short reaction papers for 2 credits. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.
How Law & Legal Institutions Address (Or Fail to Address) the Impacts of Racial Segregation in Chicago
Spring 2019, Robert A. Weinstock
Chicago is among the most racially segregated major cities in America and also has one of the greatest disparities in poverty rate by race. Racial segregation in Chicago is the product of governmental policies and socio-economic trends. Such segregation has in turn given rise to many social justice issues that impact the Chicago communities that surround the Law School. This two-credit seminar is designed to examine social and legal problems in Chicago that are connected to racial segregation in the city. In doing so, the seminar will provide an opportunity to evaluate how different areas of law interact with and effect a complex web of social problems. This seminar will meet once a week, for two hours. The introductory session will provide an overview of the historic drivers of racial segregation in Chicago, key contemporary racial, socieo-economic, administrative and political dynamics in the City. After that introductory meeting, each subsequent session will be led by a different faculty member and focused on exploring the ways key laws, policies, and legal institutions within a particular area of law create or exacerbate social ills related to racial segregation. Sessions focused on criminal law, policing, environmental justice, human rights, corporate law, immigration, and housing are anticipated. Each session will present a tailored mix of substantive legal doctrine, interdisciplinary insights, and practical perspectives on the way law and legal institutions redress or reinforce a particular social challenge in contemporary Chicago. In particular, each session will feature either a skills-based component, to present how the law operates in reality, or a presentation conveying the real-world effect of legal institutions on a community. Students will be assessed in the following ways: 1) weekly blog-style reactions to the readings in advance of the week's seminar; 2) a final short reaction paper; and 3) class participation.
Human Rights: Alien and Citizen
Winter 2018, Susan R. Gzesh
The basic notion of international human rights is that rights are inherent in the identity of human beings, regardless of their citizenship, nationality, or immigration status. This course will address how international human rights doctrines, conventions, and mechanisms can be used to understand the situation of the "alien" (or foreigner) who has left his or her country of origin to work, seek safe haven, or simply reside in another country. How native or resident populations and governments respond to new arrivals has varied tremendously in the past and present. In some situations, humanitarian impulses or political interests have dictated a warm welcome and full acceptance into the national community. In other cases, alien populations have become targets of suspicion and repression. In some extreme cases, states have "denationalized" resident populations who previously enjoyed national citizenship. We will use an interdisciplinary approach to address such questions as (1) Why do human beings migrate? What might human rights as a measuring instrument tell us about conditions that promote refugee flows and other forms of forced migration? (2) What is the meaning of citizenship? How is it acquired or lost? What rights may societies and nation-states grant only to citizens, but withhold from others? (3) Are human rights truly universal? Are rights necessarily dependent on citizenship? (4) How do differences in rights between citizens and aliens become more important during national security crises? (5) What are the principal categories used by nation states to classify foreign visitors and residents? How do these categorizations affect the rights of foreigners? (6) How do international human rights doctrines limit actions by states with respect to certain categories of foreigners such as refugees, asylum applicants, and migratory workers? (7) Given the non-voting status of foreign populations in almost all countries, how are the rights of aliens represented in societies of settlement? How do home country governments regard their expatriate communities? The student's grade is based on attendance, participation, and a major paper.
Human Rights: Contemporary Issues
Autumn 2018, Susan R. Gzesh
This interdisciplinary course presents an overview of several major contemporary human rights problems as a means to explore the use of human rights norms and mechanisms. The course addresses the roles of states, inter-governmental bodies, national courts, civil society actors including NGOs, victims, and their families, and other non-state actors. Topics are likely to include universalism, enforceability of human rights norms, the prohibition against torture, U.S. exceptionalism, and the rights of women, racial minorities, and non-citizens.
- Autumn 2017, Susan R. Gzesh, Matthew Furlong, and Kai Parker
Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations
Spring 2019, Ben Laurence
Human rights are claims of justice that hold merely in virtue of our shared humanity. In this course we will explore philosophical theories of this elementary and crucial form of justice. Among topics to be considered are the role that dignity and humanity play in grounding such rights, their relation to political and economic institutions, and the distinction between duties of justice and claims of charity or humanitarian aid. Finally we will consider the application of such theories to concrete, problematic and pressing problems, such as global poverty, torture and genocide.
- Spring 2018, Ben Laurence, Joshua Fox, Claudia Hogg-Blake, and Agatha Slupek
International Human Rights
Spring 2019, Thomas Ginsburg
This course is an introduction to international human rights law, covering the major instruments and institutions that operate on the international plane. It includes discussion of the conceptual underpinnings of human rights, the structure of the United Nations System, the major international treaties, regional human rights machinery, and the interplay of national and international systems in enforcing human rights. There are no prerequisites. Grading will be on the basis of a take-home exam at the end of the quarter. Students who wish to write, in lieu of the exam, a paper sufficient to satisfy the substantial writing requirement, may do so upon approval of the topic in advance.
- Winter 2018, Thomas Ginsburg
International Human Rights Clinic
Spring 2019, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
The International Human Rights Clinic works for the promotion of social and economic justice globally and in the United States. The Clinic uses international human rights laws and norms, other substantive law, and multidimensional strategies to draw attention to human rights violations, develop practical solutions and promote accountability on the part of state and non-state actors. The Clinic works with clients and organizational partners through advocacy campaigns, research and litigation in domestic, foreign, and international tribunals. Working in project teams, students develop and hone essential lawyering skills, including oral advocacy, fact-finding, research, legal and non-legal writing, interviewing, media advocacy, cultural competency and strategic thinking. Some students may have the option (but are not required) to undertake international or domestic travel in connection with their projects during the Autumn, Winter or Spring quarter breaks. Students may enroll for up to three credits a quarter. New students should plan to take the clinic for three quarters for a minimum of two credits each quarter. Returning students may enroll for one credit each quarter.International Human Rights Law and Public International Law are recommended but not required co requisites.
- Autumn 2017, Claudia M. Flores
- Winter 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
- Spring 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
- Autumn 2018, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
- Winter 2019, Claudia M. Flores and Nino Guruli
International Humanitarian Law
Winter 2019, Darryl Li
This course is an introduction to international humanitarian law (IHL), otherwise known as the law of armed conflict. It will cover cover sources of IHL, including: the Hague and Geneva treaty regimes; jurisprudence of international and national courts; national legislation, especially in the United States; and the practice of both state militaries and non-state actors. The course will explore three fundamental tensions that structure recurring debates in IHL: between humanitarianism and war; between state and non-state forms of organized violence; and between the formal equality of sovereign states and the realities of an unequal international system.The class will require a series of research papers totaling 20-25 pages.
Islamic Law: Foundations and Contemporary Issues
Autumn 2018, Kamran Bajwa
Since its inception, Islamic Law has grown from a set of rules governing life in 6th century Arabia to a global body of law developed across time and place with application to religious, civil, criminal, constitutional, commercial, and international law. The primary objective of the seminar will be to give students a basic understanding of Islamic Law and the issues faced in applying Islamic Law in the modern context. The seminar will cover the origins and historical development of Islamic Law, Islamic legal theory, scope and application of Islamic Law, and selected current issues such as Islamic Finance. Modern constitutional law issues regarding sources of law, religious freedom, public interest, and related issues in Muslim majority countries will be reviewed as well as the debates around the application of Islamic Law for Muslim minorities living in secular states. Special attention will be paid to comparative law aspects of Western legal theory and Islamic legal theory in light of the historical introduction of Western legal systems to the Muslim world through Colonial and post-Colonial experiences. Current political debates around Shari'ah law and the concept of a Caliphate will be assessed against Islamic legal theory and constitutional law, specifically in light of the Arab Spring revolutions and the phenomenon of violent extremism. As such, in addition to a theoretical understanding of Islamic Law in the modern context, students will also develop an understanding of the practical impact of legal theory on political, social, and economic realities in the Muslim world and beyond. This is a one semester seminar for 2L and 3L students. There are no pre-requisite courses required in Islam. Weekly readings will be assigned in English language source materials. The seminar will draw on the lecturer's extensive personal experience with the subject matter and knowledge of the legal systems of Muslim majority states such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Pakistan, Egypt, Malaysia, and elsewhere. Professor Kamran Bajwa studied classical Islamic Law and Islamic Theology at the Al-Azhar seminary in Cairo, Egypt prior to attending the University of Michigan Law School where he also took advanced courses in Islamic Law. After graduating from law school, Professor Bajwa trained as a corporate transactional lawyer at the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis and then moved to the Middle East and practiced law in that region for 8 years. During his time working in the Middle East, Professor Bajwa continued his studies in Islamic Law and served as an advisor to major Islamic scholars and political leaders throughout the Muslim world involved in legal reform and intellectual projects. Professor Bajwa currently heads the Middle East regional practice for Kirkland & Ellis and travels regularly to the region. Grading will be based on student participation and a collaborative student presentation on a sub-topic of the student's choice. Non-law students who seek to enroll in this class should email Professor Bajwa at: Kamran.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Autumn 2017, Kamran Bajwa
Labor History and the Law
Spring 2018, Laura Weinrib
This seminar examines the historical relationship between American workers and the law. It focuses on legal contests over workers' rights in the courts, legislatures, and administrative agencies during the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Readings explore the ways in which law has shaped labor solidarity, class formation, and strategies for organization and resistance. They also consider the influence of organized labor and of labor law on mobilization for social change, including the movements for civil liberties and civil rights. The seminar concludes by exploring current trends in American labor relations, including recent efforts to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees.Final grade will be based on a major paper or a series of short reaction papers.
Law and Public Policy: Case Studies in Problem Solving
Autumn 2018, Stephen R. Patton
This class examines the intersection of law and public policy and the lawyer's role in helping to formulate and defend public policy choices, using recent, real-world problems based on the instructor's experience as Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago and senior legal advisor to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. While the course will be conducted in a seminar/discussion format, a significant portion of each class will be devoted to hands-on role-playing in which students will play the role of legal advisors to an elected official, grappling with and proposing solutions to vexing issues of public policy.While this course may be of particular interest to students who are interested in public service and public policy-making, its emphasis on developing students' analytical and problem-solving skills and on providing hands-on, practical experience in advising clients on complex issues should be of benefit to any student, regardless of interests and career objectives. Providing legal analysis and advice and counseling clients on available options are a critical part of almost every legal career, whether as a litigator or transactional lawyer in a private firm or as in-house counsel for a corporation or not-for-profit.Assigned reading will include press articles, proposed legislation, briefs and pleadings, and other materials concerning the case studies/public policy issues that will be examined. Students will be expected to identify and analyze legal issues and limits, competing legal and policy interests, and possible policy alternatives and advise their "client" accordingly. Grades will be based on class participation and performance in role-playing exercises and short (5 page) reaction papers concerning three of the case studies that will be examined.
Law and Society
Autumn 2018, Anna-Maria Marshall
This seminar offers an introduction to the central themes and major debates in the field of Law and Society. The field of sociolegal studies is an interdisciplinary one, and reflecting this, the course will emphasize research in sociology, political science, psychology, anthropology, and legal studies. We will explore classic readings from the Law and Society canon as well as more contemporary research and theory. We will analyze the readings for both their theoretical and empirical contributions, as well as for the methodologies the authors deploy. The themes we will consider over the course of the quarter include the tension between state or "official" law and nonlegal norms for ordering everyday life; the factors that influence who mobilizes the law (and who doesn't); and what it means to use law in contexts other than courtrooms, such as in families, neighborhoods, workplaces, social movements, and mass media. We will explore the debate about the value of rights and litigation strategies in efforts to produce social change, and we'll examine the ubiquitous role of law in popular culture. The course will conclude with a look forward at future directions in law and society research. Final grade will be based on a major paper.
- Autumn 2017, Anna-Maria Marshall
Law and the Mental Health System
Autumn 2018, Mark J. Heyrman
The course examines the interrelationship between legal doctrine; procedural rules; medical, cultural, and social scientific understandings of mental disability; and institutional arrangements affecting the provision of services to the mentally disabled. Consideration is given to admission to and discharge from mental health facilities, to competency to consent to or to refuse treatment, to surrogate decision-making for those found incompetent, to the rights of those confined in mental health facilities; to discrimination against the mentally disabled, and to the rights of the mentally disabled in the criminal justice system. Grades are based on a final paper (20-25 pages) or a final take-home exam, and class participation.
- Autumn 2017, Mark J. Heyrman
The Law of Public Corruption
Winter 2019, Sharon Fairley
Recent high-profile prosecutions reflect the threat that public corruption represents to national security and the integrity of our political processes. Although the quid pro quo of a bribery scheme is a familiar form of public corruption, other forms are less obvious and more difficult to proscribe. When does a campaign contribution cross the line from free speech to graft? Is a legislator who weighs the interests of the wealthy over the disadvantaged corrupt? How do we be sure that an industry titan who has recently passed through the "revolving door" into a government role will promote the public interest over those of her former employer? This course will focus on the legal infrastructure in place to deter, detect, and prosecute public corruption. We will explore key topics such as campaign finance reform, patronage, and fraud schemes. We will also seek to understand how courts give shape and grounding to the anti-corruption principles embedded within the Constitution and promulgated in federal and state law. Grading will be based on an 8-hour take-home exam.
Winter 2019, Camilla Taylor
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.A major paper of 20-25 pages is required for this class. Class participation may be considered in final grading.
Life (and Death) in the Law
Spring 2019, Herschella G. Conyers
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.
- Spring 2018, Herschella G. Conyers
Poverty and Housing Law Clinic
Spring 2019, Lawrence Wood
This clinic, conducted over two sequential quarters, exposes students to the practice of poverty law by giving them the opportunity to work on housing cases at LAF, the Midwest's largest provider of free civil legal services to people who are living in poverty or otherwise vulnerable. Students may be be asked to attend administrative grievance hearings, represent tenants facing unwarranted evictions, and prevent landlords from performing lockouts or refusing to make necessary repairs. All students will be expected to interview clients, prepare written discovery, conduct research, and draft motions. In addition to working 12 hours a week at LAF, students will attend a weekly two-hour class to learn about subsidized housing programs, eviction actions, housing discrimination, representing tenants with disabilities, the intersection between domestic violence and housing, and the extensive and often misunderstood connection between criminal law and housing.
- Winter 2019, Lawrence Wood
Spring 2019, Andrew Hammond
This seminar offers an introduction to the substantive law and procedure of public benefit programs in the United States. The seminar will identify persistent controversies in poverty law, including means-test design, funding structure, federalism issues, and behavioral rules, as well as how poverty law interacts with immigration enforcement and disability law. Throughout, we will examine to what extent the agencies that administer these public benefits are vulnerable to federal litigation and what remedies may result from such litigation. Final grade will be based on: a series of short reaction papers and class participation (2 credits). Student who wish to earn 3 credits will be writing an additional long paper.
- Spring 2018, Andrew Hammond
Spring 2019, Emma Kaufman
Courses on criminal law and procedure typically end with conviction. This framework obscures the vast body of law on prisons-and the roughly 2 million people inside them. Why and when do courts send people to prison? How does imprisonment affect constitutional rights? What is the proper relationship between prisons and federal courts? These questions will guide this seminar as we examine the history of prison litigation, the current state of the American prison system, and landmark cases in prison law. Topics covered include mass incarceration, solitary confinement, the treatment of race and citizenship inside prisons, legal limitations on lawsuits against prison officials, and the use of structural injunctions and consent decrees. Students will leave the course fluent in prison law doctrine and equipped to debate the state's legal duties to people behind bars. A series of short research papers will be required.
Racism, Law, and Social Sciences
Spring 2019, Christopher Fennell
The domains of racism, law, and the social sciences impact one another in myriad ways. At times, a system of racism is deployed through law, which in turn shapes questions asked in the social sciences. In other instances, the sciences articulate conceptual frameworks that lead to the creation of new forms of racism within society and law. Particular systems of racism have operated across a spectrum from incidents of overt violence to the daily impacts of implicit biases. Our readings and class discussions will consider a sample of case studies from across the globe in addition to past and present dynamics in the United States. Analyses of the social construction of racial and ethnic identities have facilitated studies of the ways in which social differences are created, maintained, and masked. Subjects to be addressed in this course include the interrelation of racial ideologies with other cultural and social dimensions, such as class, ethnicity, gender, political and legal structures, and economic influences. At an international scale, policy makers confront the challenge of balancing calls for multicultural tolerance with demands for fundamental human rights. We will also consider the related histories of biological, genetic, and epigenetic concepts of different races within the human species. Requirements for this course include thoughtful class participation and a final, take-home examination.
- Spring 2018, Christopher Fennell
Regulation of Sexuality
Spring 2019, Mary Anne Case
This course explores the many ways in which the legal system regulates sexuality, sexual identity, and gender and considers such regulation in a number of substantive areas as well as the limits on placed on such regulation by constitutional guarantees including free speech, equal protection, and due process. Readings include cases and articles from the legal literature together with work by scholars in other fields. The grade is based on a substantial paper of 20-25 pages, series of short papers, or final in-class examination, with class participation taken into account.
- Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case
Reproductive Health and Justice
Winter 2019, Lorie Chaiten
This seminar will examine the history and evolution of legal protections for abortion, contraception and other reproductive health care. We will look at state and federal constitutional, statutory and common law theories used to secure and protect these rights. We will explore current threats and growing barriers to access, including ever-expanding assertions of religious beliefs to limit access to reproductive health care. We will also look at advocacy strategies for addressing those threats and barriers. Grades are based on a final paper of 20-25 pages and class participation.
The Social and Legal Construction of Race
Spring 2018, LaToya Baldwin Clark
This seminar will examine the role of law in creating and recreating race in our decidedly non-post-racial society. Topics covered will include racial identity, reproduction, and criminal justice. Readings will include cases to understand the "law on the books;" law review articles to understand how legal academics interact the law and its implications; and social science research to understand "law in action."Final grade will be based on: a major paper (3 credits), a series of short reaction papers (2 credits), and class participation.
Women's Human Rights in the World
Winter 2019, Claudia M. Flores
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 of 20-25 pages at the end. Class participation may also be considered in final grading.
- Spring 2018, Claudia M. Flores
Workshop: Regulation of Family, Sex, and Gender
Spring 2019, Mary Anne Case
This workshop exposes students to recent academic work in the regulation of family, sex, gender, and sexuality and in feminist theory. Workshop sessions are devoted to the presentation and discussion of papers from outside speakers and University faculty. The substance and methodological orientation of the papers will both be diverse. Students have the option of writing a major paper of 20-25 pages for SRP credit.
- Winter 2018, Mary Anne Case
- Spring 2018, Mary Anne Case
- Autumn 2018, Mary Anne Case
Wrongful Discrimination: Legal and Philosophical Perspectives
Spring 2019, Nethanel Lipshitz
As human beings, we make distinctions all the time. We cannot get by in the world without discriminating. Yet, some forms of discrimination are wrongful, and when discrimination is wrongful, it is typically considered to be a central case of injustice and unfairness. The question of what makes an incidence of discrimination wrong is thus a topic of heated social debate. This is the main question we will take up in this seminar. We will read philosophical literature on discrimination, and use legal cases as our cases studies. We will look in more detail at one case of discrimination in particular - discrimination against the disabled - and discuss the contentious topic of affirmative action.A major paper of 20-25 pages is required for this class. Class participation may be considered in final grading.