350 Advanced Constitutional Law: A Legal History of the US Civil Rights Movement

 This course will examine the role of social movements in the development of U.S. constitutional law. Conventional theories of judicial independence do not define a legitimate role for social movements, but recent advances in legal scholarship have underscored the co-constitutive relationship between law and social movements. Accordingly, this course will explore how participants in social movements engage the Constitution and how these encounters shape constitutional doctrine, social institutions, public discourse, and movements themselves. We will investigate the processes of mobilization and counter-mobilization and reflect on how movements often spur constitutional change through means other than constitutionally specified procedures. We will also consider why movements fail and will critically analyze rights-based approaches to reform. The course will place particular emphasis on the involvement of social movement actors in the transformation of civil rights law. Course readings will draw from a wide range of historical, sociological, and legal sources.

Course Areas of Practice
Course Type
Lecture
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law
2019
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor Meeting Day/Times Room

350.01 3
  • Final Exam
  • Class participation

Tim Lovelace

Tu/Th 8:55-10:20 AM 4046

 This course will examine the role of social movements in the development of U.S. constitutional law. Conventional theories of judicial independence do not define a legitimate role for social movements, but recent advances in legal scholarship have underscored the co-constitutive relationship between law and social movements. Accordingly, this course will explore how participants in social movements engage the Constitution and how these encounters shape constitutional doctrine, social institutions, public discourse, and movements themselves. We will investigate the processes of mobilization and counter-mobilization and reflect on how movements often spur constitutional change through means other than constitutionally specified procedures. We will also consider why movements fail and will critically analyze rights-based approaches to reform. The course will place particular emphasis on the involvement of social movement actors in the transformation of civil rights law. Course readings will draw from a wide range of historical, sociological, and legal sources.

Pre/Co-requisites
None
Enrollment Restrictions
None

*Please note that this information is for planning purposes only, and should not be relied upon for the schedule for a given semester. Faculty leaves and sabbaticals, as well as other curriculum considerations, will sometimes affect when a course may be offered.