Law Schedule of Classes

NOTE: Course offerings change. Classes offered this semester may not be offered in future semesters.

Apart from their assigned mod courses, 1L students may only enroll in courses offered as 1L electives. A complete list of these courses can be found on the 1L Elective Listings page. 1L students must use the 1L class number listed on the course description when enrolling.

224.23 sec. 001 - Public Health Law (Spring 2021)

Instructor: Marice Ashe  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only)
Instructor: Stephen D. Sugarman  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only

Units: 3
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: Remote Instruction


Tu 3:35 PM - 6:15 PM
Location: Internet/Online
From January 19, 2021
To April 30, 2021

Course Start: January 19, 2021
Course End: April 30, 2021
Class Number: 32638

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 17
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 20
As of: 05/08 05:45 AM

COVID-19 and the failure of government agencies to coordinate a national response has shocked the nation and the world. We now see so clearly how health is inextricably linked to the legal authority of federal, state and local governments - including legal and civic structures embedded in structural racism and historic discrimination. We are learning in real-time how global economics and transportation systems, workplace policies and employee benefits, food systems and retail environments, schools, playgrounds and every aspect of civic life influence health outcomes.

Constitutional law is central to fighting disease from pandemics to chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Over the past few months, the authority of state and federal governments to protect the public’s health at the expense of individual liberties has never been on greater display: religious services are cancelled, access to family planning is deemed non-essential, extensive restrictions are placed on the right to freely travel and assemble, the ability to earn a living is aggressively curtailed.

The strengths and limits of cooperative federalism are daily headlines from the Army and National Guard both providing staffing services to homes for the elderly and disbanding peaceful protests for presidential photo ops, to states competing against each other for basic PPE supplies, and worse. The President of the United States has claimed “total power” and urges protesters to force states and localities to “liberate” their economies. Most critically, we are seeing how systemic inequities create diseases of poverty and vast disparities in health outcomes based on race/ethnicity, income inequality, and political marginalization.

This extraordinary list of issues touches on everyday constitutional rights while simultaneously entering largely uncharted legal territory that will be the subject of litigation and legislation for years to come.

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of how constitutional and administrative law is integrated with science, systems thinking, community organizing and organizational leadership to ensure everyone has the ability to live a healthy and prosperous life. Students interested in social justice lawyering will be exposed to a broad array of legal and scientific concepts and resources that will be central to their legal career regardless of future venue: legal aid offices and other community-based organizations, policy think tanks and government agencies that touch all aspects of civic life, and law firms dedicated to public interest lawyering.

Students will learn how to integrate core legal theory with fundamental public health principles and will understand how to shape laws and policies to further the public’s health. They will be immersed in legal and policy strategies to redress inequalities and promote health equity. Students will study legal and public health theory, simulate responses to real world problems, and practice proactive legal and policy leadership to prevent and manage both emergent pathogens and ubiquitous chronic diseases resulting from systemic racism and historic discrimination that result in preventable death and disability.

Class meetings will be offered online via Zoom. We will record each meeting and post it on bCourses. You are strongly encouraged to attend classes live on Zoom, which will provide the most engaging and enriching experience. If you are unable to attend in real-time, you should provide the instructors with timely advance notice (or subsequent notice of an unanticipated emergency). As a substitute for real-time attendance and participation, you will be required to answer a series of questions that are responsive to the readings and the recorded class content. This class combines lecture, exercises, polls, small-group discussions on Zoom, and discussion forums on bCourses.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This is an Option 1 class; two Option 1 classes fulfill the J.D. writing requirement.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Social Justice and Public Interest
This course is listed in the following sub-categories:
Public Law and Policy

The following file is available for this course:


If you are the instructor or their FSU, you may edit your files on this page.

No reader.

Required Books are in blue

  • The New Public Health Law: A Transdisciplinary Approach to Practice and Advocacy
    Scott C. Burris, Micah L. Berman, Matthew S. Penn, Tara Ramanathan Holiday
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    ISBN: 9780190681074
    e-Book Available: Yes
    e-Book procurement note:
    Copyright Date: To Be Determined
    Price: $53.00
    Price Source: user provided

Go to Course Search