740 Constitutional Law II - §001, Spring 2009

Categories: Constitutional Law

Instructor(s) Althouse, Ann

This course explores the
constitutional protection of individual rights under the "Equal
Protection" and "Due Process" clauses of the Fourteenth
Amendment.  Most of the semester will be spent on Equal Protection,
specifically race (including the related issues of desegregation and
affirmative action) and gender discrimination, and then explore other potential
bases of equal protection claims (such as disability, sexual
orientation).  Finally, we spend a few weeks on the fundamental rights
recognized as part of the Due Process Clause, thus addressing constitutional
protection of contraception, abortion, and sexual activity.  The casebook
is Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking (edited by

, Levinson, Balkin, Amar and Siegel). 
Professor Quraishi teaches this course with attention to the idea that what
constitutes a good or persuasive constitutional argument has changed and will
continue to change over time. In class, students will explore how what the
Constitution means is often intertwined with the question of how one chooses to
interpret it, who is the person or institution performing this interpretation,
and why the question is presented in the first place. To help students to go
beyond the doctrinal rules of the law, Professor Quraishi uses several non-
traditional techniques, including role plays (where students literally wear the
hat of a past constitutional character), video supplements, internet streaming
audio/video, and real life hy potheticals. She expects students to come to
class prepared to articulate the relevant constitutional rulings as well as
their own analyses of the issues. The goal is an interactive classroom
environment that is demanding yet open and alive.


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