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Constitutional Law

Administrative Law

Course Description:

A study of the administrative law process, concentrating upon the functions and procedures of federal administrative agencies and judicial review of agency actions. Specific topics will include the creation of agencies; their investigative, legislative, and adjudicatory power; and the control of agency action by the executive, legislative, and the judicial branches. Given the pervasive nature …


Advanced Constitutional Law: Theories and Interpretation

Course Description:

This is a seminar in U.S. Constitutional theory. What is the “Constitution”? What institution or institutions – or non-institutional actors – are (or should be) charged with its authoritative interpretation? How should they go about the task? Who should have the final say? A range of scholarship on these and related topics will be considered. …


American Legal History

Course Description:

This course explores the history of American law from 1607 to the present.  Among the most important topics examined in depth are: the reception of the English common law in the original thirteen colonies; constitutionalism and the American revolution; the Federalist era; the law’s role during the antebellum period in promoting industrialization and slavery; the …


Civil Rights Seminar

Course Description:

This seminar surveys the history of civil rights laws and issues in part by exploring the development of constitutional doctrines such as anti-discrimination, color blindness, and anti-subordination.


Constitutional Law

Course Description:

This course offers an introduction to basic American constitutional law and many of its canonical cases. The course will generally consider the function of the Supreme Court, its role in the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, the scope and development of federal powers, federalism and the limits on state power, executive and separation of powers, …


Constitutional Litigation

Course Description:

Constitutional Litigation is a course in advanced and applied constitutional law.  It focuses on one of the central ways in which constitutional claims are litigated:  in lawsuits against public officials and local governments.  The bulk of the course looks at litigation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.  We will consider topics such as what it means …


Criminal Procedure: Adjudication

Course Description:

This course studies the process of the criminal justice system from after the time of arrest through trial and verdict. Topics covered will include the right to counsel, the charging process, pretrial detention, discovery, pleas, trials, and double jeopardy. Trial issues include many subtopics, such as the right to a speedy trial, jury selection, and …


Criminal Procedure: Investigation

Course Description:

This course focuses on the legality of police investigative conduct under the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The course explores in-depth the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. Students study a wide variety of situations in which the police look for and collect physical evidence of criminal activity …


Federal Courts

Course Description:

The federal courts play a critical role in allocating power among the branches of the federal government (separation of powers), as well as the allocation of power between the federal government and the states (federalism). The course will explore these complex relationships in detail. Topics include the extent of federal judicial power and the ability …


Federal Death Penalty Seminar

Course Description:

This course examines substantive and procedural issues in federal habeas corpus review of death penalty cases. Reviewing doctrine and practice, it tracks the development of the law to its modern form.


First Amendment

Course Description:

This course explores the First Amendment protection of freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of the press.  It focuses on the leading First Amendment cases that have established the doctrinal framework that gives political speech and other kinds of communication the most extensive protection found in any country in the world.


Fourteenth Amendment Seminar

Course Description:

The Fourteenth Amendment conferred the right of citizenship upon people who had never before enjoyed it, promised equal protection of law, and fundamentally altered the relationship between the federal and state governments. This advanced course in constitutional law will examine current, recurrent, and lasting topics of interest under the Fourteenth Amendment. The course will consider …


Law and Religion

Course Description:

This course will examine the relation of government and religion in light of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the United States Constitution. It will explore Supreme Court and lower court cases, as well as applicable statutes, constitutional policies, and judicial philosophies that have given rise to these cases. The course will be presented …


Law and the Presidency

Course Description:

This course examines the law as it shapes the interactions of the President with both Congress and the judiciary. It examines the law surrounding the allocation of authority to the various branches of the national government, the so-called “separation of powers,” and the system of checks and balances that results. A dominant theme will be …


Money & Politics Seminar

Course Description:

The influence of money on the political process has been the subject of enormous controversy in recent years, most notably surrounding the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010).  This course addresses the role of money in politics, including the subjects of bribery, campaign finance, and lobbying.  We will address the …


National Security Law

Course Description:

This course examines the legal (international, constitutional, statutory, and administrative), process, policy, political, and personality aspects of the government’s national security efforts, as conducted by lawyers and policymakers. It explores horizontal federal interactions and vertical interactions international, federal, state, and local coordination). The course’s classroom portion has six modules: (1)conceptual and constitutional framing; (2) national …


Sexual Orientation and the Law

Course Description:

This course will survey the various legal issues facing gay men, lesbians and bisexuals.  The topics include:  regulation of sexuality and gender; liberty-equality debate; theories of sexuality, gender and the law; the workplace; families; parenting; education; and the military.  Students will be expected to contribute actively to the class discussion.  Twenty percent of the grade will …


State & Local Government

Course Description:

State and Local Government Law addresses major issues facing state and local governments in a time of rapid change: (1) the distribution of power between federal, state, and local governments; (2) the forms, structure, powers, financing, and liability of local governments; (3) the relationship between local governments; and (4) the relationship of state and local governments, public employees, …


State Constitutional Law Seminar

Course Description:

The course is about “state constitutional law.” It will not specifically teach Ohio constitutional law, though some illustrations of the various principles may come from Ohio law. Instead, the subject is a general examination of state constitutional law and its proper role in the fabric of American law. Thus we will inquire into how state …


Supreme Court Litigation Seminar

Course Description:

This seminar deals primarily with the process of constitutional litigation as seen from the perspective of the U.S. Supreme Court.  It includes a historical analysis of Article III and, more specifically, a consideration of the Court’s evolution over its almost 200 years of existence, with detailed attention to the way in which the courts exercise …


The Supreme Court Seminar

Course Description:

This seminar will focus on the US Supreme Court as an institution and demonstrate the ways in which its formal and informal norms and structure shape the nature and content of the law the Court makes. Topics will include the development of the Court as an institution–changes in jurisdiction, structure, and function–from 1790 to the …