Course Number: 6915
Credit Hours & Type of Credit: 3
Semester Offered: Fall
Prerequisites: Students must have completed their first year of law school.
Recommended Courses: None
Course Overview: This course will examine the non-criminal statutes Congress has enacted to protect the civil rights of Americans. It will explore the connections between civil rights statutes and constitutional law; congressional power to expand or enforce constitutional norms; and historical and contextual considerations underlying national values related to civil rights. Considerable emphasis will be placed on constitutional litigation under § 1983, the basic civil rights act that enforces the 14th Amendment against state and local governments. In that discussion, the class will examine the elements of a § 1983 claim, including what constitutes a deprivation of constitutional rights and the meaning of the “under color of law” requirement; official immunity; governmental liability; and remedies for civil rights violations. Time permitting, the course also will include discussion of modern statutes such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Violence Against Women Act, which are the products of legislative policymaking rather than constitutional command.
Course Materials: See the current Book List located under Courses and Curriculum.
Type of Exam:
Basis for Grading Student Performance: