Federal Civil Rights Law - Fall 2008
Professor Katherine Franke
Mon. & Weds. 10:40-12:00
Room WJWH 103
"You were put here to protect us, but who protects us from you?
Everytime you say, "that's illegal", does it mean that it's true?
Your authority's never questioned, no one questions you
If I hit you, I'll be killed, if you hit me, I can sue
You were here to protect us, but who protects us from you?"
KRS-One - "Who Protects Us From You?" on Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop, Boogie Down Productions
The course will provide an historical and statutory overview of federal civil rights law - with a particular emphasis on police misconduct. Class format will combine lecture and discussion, with an emphasis on discussion. A significant portion of the class will be devoted to the details of litigating under 42 U.S.C. � 1983 - a statute that provides a private right of action for violations of the U.S. Constitution or federal laws. If you plan to clerk after graduation, you will encounter � 1983 cases a great deal, and will find our work in this class very helpful.
Class attendance and participation are very important. Each student will be required to write one short (three-five pages double-spaced) paper during the course of the semester on a problem that will be distributed. There will be an in-class, open-book final examination.
Professor Franke's Coordinates:
Office: Room 627
Office Hours: Wednesdays 2pm - 3:30pm or by appointment
Professor Franke's Assistant: Rachel Jones, 854-7594, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nahmod et al., Constitutional Torts (Second Edition)
- Nahmod et al., Constitutional Torts Supplement (2008)
texts are available at: Book Culture, 536 W. 112th Street.
- Supplemental Readings, available during the semester (KF Supp.)
Wednesday, September 3rd - Introduction to the Course
- Please read articles:
LA Times on racial profiling by the LAPD click here
NY Daily News on frequency of NYPD use of force click here
Monday, September 8th - Introduction to Section 1983
Wednesday, September 10th - Under Color of State Law
Monday, September 15th - Under Color of State Law cont.
Wednesday, September 17th - Constitutional Deprivations
Monday, September 22nd - Constitutional Deprivations cont.
- 4th and 5th Amendment Review/Problems
Wednesday, September 24th - Constitutional Deprivations cont.
- Nahmod pp. 101-129
- Nahmod Supp. pp. 3-7
Monday, September 29th - Constitutional Deprivations cont.
Wednesday, October 1st - Constitutional Deprivations cont.
Monday, October 6th - Constitutional Deprivations cont.
- Heck & Constitutional Deprivations Review
- Nahmod pp. 637-659
Wednesday, October 8th - "And Laws"
- Nahmod pp. 224-238
- Nahmod Supp. p. 26
Monday, October 13th - Preemption
Wednesday, October 15th - Preemption
Monday, October 20th - Absolute Immunities
- Nahmod pp. 385-437
- Nahmod Supp. pp. 35-38
Wednesday, October 22nd - Qualified Immunity
- Nahmod pp. 439-463
- Nahmod Supp. pp. 39-40
Monday, October 27th - Qualified Immunity cont.
Wednesday, October 29th - Qualified Immunity cont.
Monday, November 3rd - Qualified Immunity Review
Wednesday, November 5th - No class
Monday, November 10th - Municipal Liability
Wednesday, November 12th - Municipal Liability cont.
- Nahmod pp. 275-309
- Nahmod Supp. pp. 27-28
Monday, November 17th - Municipal Liability cont.
- Nahmod pp. 309-334
- Nahmod Supp. p. 29
Wednesday, November 19th -
Monday, November 24th - Municipal Liability Review
Wednesday, November 26th - No Class
Monday, December 1st - Federal Tort Claims Act
Wednesday, December 3rd - - Federal Tort Claims Act cont.
Monday, December 8th - Review