ADVANCED TOPICS IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: SECOND AMENDMENT, EQUAL PROTECTION, AND RELIGION
(LAWC-4041) - 4 UNITS
Can the government ban certain types of firearms to try to stop school shootings? Do civil rights laws prohibiting a baker's refusal to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple violate the Frist Amendment's free exercise of religion clause? Can the enforcement of the separation of church and state constitute religious discrimination? How would an "originalist" answer these questions as compared to a non-originalist? Students in this course will read and analyze U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the topics of Constitutional Interpretation, the Second Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause and the Religion Clauses with an eye to the future of Constitutional Law in those areas. The class will be an opportunity to better understand the theoretical underpinnings and legal and doctrinal significance of legal decisions on these topics. This course is also an opportunity for students who have already taken the required 4-unit course on Constitutional Law to examine new topics outside the scope of that course and to analyze previously studied Constitutional Law topics with which they are already familiar in greater depth. Students who have not taken the required 4-unit course on Constitutional Law are welcome to take this course to enhance their knowledge of Constitutional Law and for exposure to discussion and modes of analysis that will better prepare them for taking the 4-unit Constitutional Law course in the future. Overall, this course will place particular focus on the major theoretical and doctrinal disputes facing today's U.S. Supreme Court.