Law Schedule of Classes

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220.6 sec. 001 - Constitutional Law (Fall 2024)

Instructor: Ian Haney Lopez  (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only | profile)
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Units: 4
Grading Designation: Graded
Mode of Instruction: In-Person


ThF 08:00 AM - 09:50 AM
Location: Law 105
From August 22, 2024
To November 22, 2024

Course Start: August 22, 2024
Course End: November 22, 2024
Class Number: 31707

Enrollment info:
Enrolled: 15
Waitlisted: 0
Enroll Limit: 70
As of: 07/18 08:12 AM

Covering much of the same material discussed in the other sections, this four-unit introductory Constitutional Law course nevertheless likely differs to some degree in the following ways: First, it foregrounds questions of social hierarchy, politics, and power, as these affect marginal groups and also as these shape society as a whole. Second, it emphasizes constitutional change as a guide to what might be possible in the (near) future. Third, it takes an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on history, sociology, political science, and critical theory.

Substantively, the course engages the following topics: federalism, economic regulation, equality, and liberty. It examines how these concepts have been filtered through politics and institutional constraints during transformative eras of American history, such as the Civil War and Reconstruction, the New Deal and the Civil Rights Movement, and the post-1970’s rightward shift in American politics. All of this lays the groundwork for parsing significant contemporary alterations in constitutional law in areas including race, gender, abortion, sexual orientation, and activist government.

The principal text for this course is Brest, Levinson, Balkin, Amar & Siegel, Processes of Constitutional Decisionmaking: Cases and Materials, 7th ed. (note: this is not the most recent edition; little of note changed with the 8th edition, and the 7th ed. required for this course is more affordable). *We will read closely from the casebook in class, and you will find it necessary to have your own edition in front of you.* It is not necessary to have the supplement.

Students in the course will be expected to achieve the following learning outcomes: (a) understanding of substantive constitutional law; (b) familiarity with the legal analysis, reasoning styles, and interpretive techniques associated with constitutional arguments; (c) and knowledge of the competing values served by constitutional law. Class participation may count as a grade tie-breaker.

Requirements Satisfaction:

This class satisfies the J.D. Constitutional Law Requirement.

Exam Notes: (F) In-class final exam
Exam Length: 3 hours
Course Category: Public Law and Policy

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