ADVANCED TOPICS IN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: ABORTION, RACE, SEX, AND GENDER IDENTITY
(LAWC-4043) - 4 UNITS
Can states ban abortion in the first weeks of a woman's pregnancy? Does the U.S. Constitution protect transgender bathroom access? How does the current Supreme Court view laws that have exclusionary effects on the basis of race and/or gender? 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 related to the topics of constitutional interpretation, abortion, sex, race and national origin, and gender identity, with particular focus on the majority and dissenting interpretations of the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause. 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.