This course will highlight the historical development and contemporary contours of civil rights law pertaining to race and racism. The course will examine how litigation and other traditional strategies can be adapted to address current challenges.
The course will address both the historic development of the civil rights infrastructure as well as the major civil rights challenges of our time. The course will trace the development of civil rights as a regulatory apparatus that has expanded and contracted over time. A doctrinal focus will be supplemented by a variety of materials to highlight the ways that contemporary issues reflect earlier manifestations of social problems. Key substantive areas that will be explored include mass incarceration; surveillance and policing of minority communities; voter disenfranchisement; employment discrimination; barriers to educational opportunity including privatization and zero tolerance policies; housing segregation and other economic barriers heightened by the Economic Recession of 2007.
The possibilities and challenges of transformative lawyering, both past and present, will remain a central theme throughout the course. Guest speakers will deepen the dialogue about key civil rights issues today. As in past iterations of this course, each student will participate in a moot argument designed to elevate key gaps, conflicts and ambiguities in contemporary civil rights law