|Semester and Year||SP 2012|
|Time||9:30 AM - 10:45 AM|
This class is aimed at introducing students to law and legal theory through focused engagement with diverse areas of law within the American legal history. Each week the class will read pivotal cases such as Brown v. Board of Education, Roe v. Wade, Boys Market v. Clerks Union, Perry v. Schwarzenegger and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Through discussion of these cases and how theywere approached by critical legal scholars, we will examine different understandings of the relationship between legal institutions and social justice and alternative interpretations of every day legal debates. Can law be tilted towards the powerful, while also being ‘indeterminate’? Does it undermine the ‘rule of law’ if, as some scholars argue, law contained ‘gaps, contradictions and ambiguities’? Can law produce unjust outcomes and yet appear legitimate? How could different understandings of gender impact anti-discrimination law? How does the legal architecture of property rights impact labor law? What are the legitimate roles, rights and responsibilities of different actors in the system - from judges to corporations to welfare recipients? In addition to reading cases and legal scholarship, we will also watch and analyze films that reproduce or contest different understandings of law and society. Readings include Duncan Kennedy, Karl Klare, Janet Halley, Rich Ford, Martha Minow, Joe Singer, James Clifford, Austin Sarat , Alan Freeman and others.
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)