Constitutional & Governmental Law
This course examines the rules by which federal administrative agencies operate, including the source of administrative authority and procedures governing the exercise of that authority, and considers problems of delegation, agency, rulemaking, adjudication and enforcement powers, judicial review of administrative action, and due process requirements.
This course will focus on the history and substance of equal protection under the Constitution. First we will explore the relationship of the original Constitution to slavery, and slavery’s role in shaping law and constitutional doctrine. Next we will study the Reconstruction amendments and the unusual circumstances of their adoption. Lastly we will focus on the development of equal protection doctrine from its beginnings after Reconstruction to the present.
This course gives students an understanding of where administrative authority originates in the United States and how to find it in its various forms, including: constitutions, enabling statutes, agency regulations and policy, agency and court decisions, and executive orders. Attention is given to legislative history, statutes, and case law as necessary components of researching administrative law. Students will explore specific federal and state sources of administrative law; learn about the rulemaking process; research regulations, agency cases, and other administrative law using a variety of print and online sources. Students in the course are not at any disadvantage if they have not yet taken Administrative Law (Law 221).
This course counts as an Experiential Learning and a Skills course.
The ChildLaw Legislation and Policy Clinic is part of the Civitas ChildLaw Center. Students in this Clinic have an opportunity to work, under the supervision of a faculty member, on a legislative or policy project that may involve any or all of the following: critiquing pending bills or existing legislation, drafting bills, developing summaries and fact sheets about pending bills, and building and working with coalitions to develop legislative ideas and consensus. Topics cover a range of child and family issues. Spring semester students primarily work on projects begun during the Fall Clinic, including researching and drafting legislation concerning child protection and juvenile justice reform issues. Students work in teams and must have sufficient time or flexibility during the work day to participate in some internal team meetings as well as attend meetings outside the Law School, as needed. Instructor permission required. Class hours TBD. (Weinberg)
The course will focus on the post-Civil War constitutional amendments (13th, 14th and 15th Amendments) and the various federal civil rights statutes that have been enacted thereafter in both the 19th and 20th centuries. These laws as a whole are designed to guarantee that all Americans receive equal treatment under law.
This course surveys the field of electronic communications, from the telephone to broadcast media to the Internet. Historically, the field of communications has been divided between the traditional mass media (broadcasting, cable, satellite broadcasting) and telecommunications media (wireline and wireless telephone carriers). Today, the two general divisions are converging. One of the vehicles of that convergence is the Internet, which is capable of providing both mass media and individual communications services. This course will examine legal issues affecting all of these media. Much of the course material necessarily covers the history and theory of communications regulation as practically applied through FCC rulemakings.
This course focuses on how lawyers work with communities and organizations to bring about change and takes a practical approach to understanding different forms of community-based lawyering. Students will work (for an approximate total of 50 hours in the semester) on projects with community organizations. Their work may entail doing research, creating fact sheets and manuals, conducting "know your rights" presentations in the community, helping to craft the message of a campaign, writing press releases, and strategizing with community members on how to identify and resolve particular issues. In addition to their fieldwork, every week, students will be assigned readings relating to course topics, such as organizing and different theories of change, the tools and strategies of lawyers, the history of lawyers working with different communities, and the role of law and lawyers in different movements. We will have discussions based on the assigned readings, and guest speakers will join us throughout the semester.
The Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding the major provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has brought new attention to the intersection between constitutional law and health care. This seminar gives students the opportunity to engage deeply with some of the most compelling constitutional issues of our time, including the use of federal spending powers to expand state Medicaid programs; the health insurance mandate as a regulation of interstate commerce; federalism conflicts in the medicalization of marijuana; medical providers’ free speech rights; compelled commercial speech in the tobacco industry; religious objections to controversial medical procedures; cruel and unusual medical treatment of prisoners; as well as substantive due process challenges relating to public health, end of life care, and reproductive autonomy.
JD Required Course
An introduction to the United States Constitution. Subjects include the role of the United States Supreme Court, federalism, and separation of powers. Particular attention is paid to judicial power and judicial review, national legislative power including commerce power, commerce clause limitations upon state power to regulate, and presidential power and authority in both international and domestic affairs. (Geraghty, Raphael, Shoenberger, Tsesis, Zimmer)
This course covers the procedural and substantive components of the due process and equal protection clauses. Other topics include the contracts clause and the takings clause. Civil rights legislation may be covered at the discretion of the instructor. (Shoenberger, Tsesis)
This course covers the procedural and substantive components of the due process and equal protection clauses. Other topics include the contracts clause and the takings clause. Civil rights legislation including sections 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985(3) are covered.
Students who have completed all first year courses (Civil Procedure, Contracts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Property, Torts, and Legal Writing) and who wish to receive graded credit for work performed in an approved field placement may apply for this externship. Certain field placements may limit eligibility to students who have completed certain course work or who have obtained their Rule 711 license. Students enrolled in this course may receive two or three hours of graded credit for supervised work performed in an approved field placement. This externship includes a classroom component that focuses on the performance of discrete legal tasks. It has been designed to allow students an opportunity to further develop practical lawyering skills. Students will be graded on classroom participation, simulations, practice area based drafting and research assignments, and field placement evaluations. There will be no final examination. (Gough)
This course examines the history, theory, and jurisprudence of the First Amendment, with particular emphasis on the speech, press and religion clauses.
This course will introduce students into the roles of government, charitable, and private institutions in identifying, preventing, and addressing public health issues. Students explore the role of state government, federal government, and the private sector in addressing issues surrounding healthcare delivery, access, financing, quality, cost control, the uninsured, transparency, and public health. Students will have the opportunity to draft analysis of government policies and work in teams to present on a public health issue. (Carvalho, Deaton)
The role of the legislative branch of government in health care is explored through a review of major government health programs and policies Students will learn how health policy gets formulated, evaluated and assessed prior to being voted into law and will then explore the process of new policy implementation. Issues to be explored will be drawn from the wide array of health matters in which governments are involved. THIS CLASS IS ONLY AVAILABLE ONLINE AND WITH PERMISSION.
This course covers the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the statutory and regulatory framework for the privacy and security of health information. Students will learn about the historical basis of privacy and global comparisons. Topics will include data privacy, security, oversight, and breaches of protected health information. (Zacharakis)
This course considers the dominant role state and federal legislation plays in today’s legal system. Topics covered include legislative theory; key concepts of legislative drafting; sources of legislative uncertainty; the changing theories, tools (including the oft-maligned canons of statutory interpretation), and practices of statutory interpretation; and the role of courts in interpreting statutes. The greatest part of the course will focus on matters of statutory interpretation including the tools courts rely upon to when interpreting statutes. (Simoni)
This seminar surveys the domestic and international law governing the use of the U.S. military both domestically and internationally. Topics include the constitutional power to initiate military action abroad, the law regulating the military and its operations, and the permissible and impermissible domestic uses of the military. It will also briefly touch upon the constitutional rights of service members and introduce students to certain unique aspects of the military criminal justice system. Several short papers focusing primarily on the civil liberties of the public and of service members are required.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” One of the primary motivations for the founding of the United States is the impetus for religious liberty. What is religious freedom in today’s increasingly secular world? Is religious freedom possible? And what is the place of religion in our political and cultural life? This course will explore these questions through targeted readings in seminal cases. The course will culminate in student presentations and a seminar paper. (Prerequisite: Constitutional Law)
A practical skills course on 4th Amendment/Search & Seizure law as it applies in Illinois, and how the most common issues are litigated in criminal cases. The class explores applicable Illinois statutes, Illinois Supreme Court rules, and federal and state case law that sets forth the prevailing legal basis for individuals’ rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Taught by a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney and with question and answer sessions with a defense attorney and law enforcement; the course takes a balanced look at both the prosecution and defense approaches to Motions to Quash and Suppress, the bread and butter of pretrial litigation and the chief avenue for deciding 4th Amendment issues. After learning the legal basics, students will be tested on their ability to identify and analyze Search & Seizure issues in various scenarios and argue for or against 4th Amendment violations, as well as practice some basic motion writing and oral arguments.
Each state has its own constitution that may vary significantly in form and substance from its federal counterpart, but state constitutions often are a neglected source of important democratic and civil rights. This course explores differences between many state constitutions and the United States Constitution and examines methods of state constitutional interpretation. Particular emphasis will be placed on the provisions and interpretation of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, and special attention will be given to several Illinois constitutional questions that arose in the last year. Students have the option of writing a paper or taking a final exam. (Legner)
This course is designed to assist students to develop a coherent method of statutory (and regulatory) interpretation. Basic issues considered are: plain meaning; textualism; context; intent; purpose; and coherence with other statutes and applicable law. Several brief writing assignments are required. The final paper is a judicial opinion in which students are asked to interpret a statutory provision in the context of the facts of a case to which the statute has been applied.
The aim of this seminar is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the Supreme Court of the United States, its personnel and work, and the important role it plays in American government and society. Students will consider the processes by which Justices are appointed to the Court; the standards and processes the Court uses to choose cases for review and decision on the merits from among the multitude decided each year by the lower courts, leading to the creation of precedents of national applicability; the ways in which advocates endeavor to persuade the Court that it should (or should not) grant review in a particular case; and the ways in which the so-called “merits cases” (those in which review has been granted) are briefed, argued, and decided. A substantial part of the semester will be devoted to the study of a small number of cases currently pending before the Court, either as candidates for review or for decision on the merits. Students will learn about the work of the Court by studying briefs that were actually filed and transcripts or recordings of oral arguments. The class will also discuss cases by simulating the Court’s conference. Students will be required to write a series of short papers and a judicial opinion in one of the merits cases to be discussed. (Sullivan)