740 Constitutional Law II - §001, Spring 2014

Categories: Constitutional Law

Instructor(s) Schwartz, David

This course covers civil and individual rights at the federal level. Emphasis is on the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment, including substantive due process, privacy, discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual preference and other characteristics, fundamental rights and affirmative action. The 1st Amendment is also reviewed, including the freedoms of speech, the press, association and religion.

On completion of this course, you should be able to:

1) Understand and explain in your own words, the following constitutional doctrines of constitutional law:
• substantive due process both in general terms and with particular reference to the problems of privacy;
• equal protection, both in general terms and with particular reference to the problems of race and sexual orientation;
• the First Amendment doctrines of content neutrality and unprotected speech;

2) Apply these doctrines to new cases and fact patterns;

3) Evaluate and critically assess the following interpretive and analytical approaches to constitutional law:
• the “levels of scrutiny,” and at least one alternative framework for balancing individual rights versus governmental regulatory interests;
• at least two theories of constitutional interpretation;

4) Formulate an answer to the question “why is race discrimination unconstitutional?” in a way that thinks critically and doesn’t entirely rely on stock answers to that question;

5) Create an effective 3-5 minute oral presentation explaining and analyzing a complex constitutional law question.

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