Constitutional Law: The Fourteenth Amendment
This course examines various aspects of the Fourteenth Amendment, with special attention paid to equal protection and substantive due process. We will examine many contested constitutional questions, including, for example: How did gay and lesbian relationships go so quickly from being subject to criminal prohibition to being eligible for marriage? What justifies the Supreme Court's striking down a law mandating segregated schools, when it had upheld an analogous law half a century earlier? Must the law treat all individuals identically, or may and should it grant special protections to members of historically disadvantaged groups? To what sources might (and should) a judge look to give content to vague constitutional terms like "equal protection" and "due process"? How can we distinguish "law" from "politics" in this area? Readings will include judicial opinions and some scholarly commentary. Class discussion will be supplemented with group exercises of various sorts. Elements used in grading: Class participation and exam.
Instructors for this course (Past and Present)Ralph Richard Banks
Jane S. Schacter
Richard Thompson Ford