Law Schedule of Classes

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283.4 sec. 001 - Advanced Civil Rights (Fall 2024)

Instructor: John A Powell  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 2
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


Th 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 130
From August 22, 2024
To November 21, 2024

Course Start: August 22, 2024
Course End: November 21, 2024
Class Number: 32055

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 9
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 24
As of: 07/16 11:57 PM

The parameters and boundaries of statutory and constitutional civil rights are an area of deep contention in the courts and the legislatures of the states and national government. In recent years alone, the Supreme Court has resolved cases pertaining to affirmative action in university admissions, voting rights, the role of tax credits in perpetuating residential racial segregation, racial and political gerrymandering, executive orders blocking travel from predominantly Muslim countries, and the relationship between religious freedom and discrimination based on sexual orientation. These debates have also been reflected in recent battles over Supreme Court Justice vacancies and the evolving views of the members of that Court, and which have occurred amidst a backdrop of social movements such as Black Lives Matter and agitation for societal change.

This course will examine civil rights jurisprudence for change and stability. We will examine enduring issues that continually resurface in popular discourse and courtrooms as well as novel questions of statutory and constitutional interpretation. We will examine long-standing questions of racial and economic segregation, and the government’s role in creating and remedying these patterns, as well as the constitutional and statutory protections and theories for voting rights. But we will also examine more recent issues such as the War on Drugs and the rise of mass incarceration since the 1970s, hate speech, immigrant detention, and executive power relating to immigration and travel. We will examine long-standing and novel bases for challenging inequality in the administration of justice.

john a. powell is Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute ( formerly known as the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society) and Professor of Law, African American, and Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He previously served as the Executive Director at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University and the Institute for Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He was formerly the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union. He is a co-founder of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council and serves on the board of several national organizations. john led the development of an “opportunity-based” model that connects affordable housing to education, health, health care, and employment. He has taught at numerous law schools including Harvard and Columbia University. His latest book is Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.

Requirements Satisfaction:

Units from this class count towards the J.D. Race and Law Requirement.

The Race and Law Requirement applies to the class of 2026 and beyond.

Exam Notes: (P) Final paper  
Course Category: Social Justice and Public Interest

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