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Course Details

History of Privacy and the Law (Lee)

Fall 2021   LAW 930-001  

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Faculty
Sophia Z. Lee

Professor of Law and History

slee@law.upenn.edu
Additional Information

Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Expository Writing
Other Professional Skills: This is a discussion based class that encourages students to engage in respectful but challenging exchanges.

Grading
30% Participation,
55% Paper,
15% Other (Discussion questions make up 15% of the grade.)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement

With Permission of Instructor

Location

Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- If you are absent, due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can ask for volunteers among your classmates to share their notes with you.

- I will make PowerPoint slides or other class materials routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

- Please make an appointment to meet with me and I will review/answer questions about what you missed.

Meeting Times/Location
T 1:00PM - 3:00PM
Tanenbaum Hall 320

Category
Seminar

Credits
3.0

During the mid-twentieth century, the Supreme Court dramatically expanded constitutional privacy protections across a number of domains, from First Amendment rights of speech and association, to Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure, to a due process right to sexual privacy. Before that, privacy is thought to have been of little concern in constitutional law and American society; to the extent that it was recognized, it was primarily through private law remedies that allowed people to protect themselves from prying by other members of civil society such as their neighbors or the press. In the decades that followed the mid-century’s constitutional revolution, public interest in privacy and its legal protection exploded. Today, however, commentators describe the public’s concern about privacy and its legal protection as eroding. This seminar will study the history of privacy and the law in the United States to test the accuracy of this narrative and to try to understand why certain spaces have been deemed private and worthy of legal protection while others have not, and why this has changed over time. Throughout, we will consider how privacy intersects with race, class, gender, and sexual orientation and consider how debates about constitutional privacy shed light on changing ideas about democracy and governance. Class sessions are discussion based and reading assignments for the course are heavy by law school standards (150-200 pp./week), though most readings are not dense and students are not expected to read them with the closeness required for typical law classes. Regular attendance and class participation count for 30% of your grade. Students have to write 6 discussion questions during the semester, which are worth 15% of the final grade. Students can write either 3 approximately 1500 word/6 pp. response papers or an approximately 20 page research paper; this component is worth 55% of the final grade. Students who write a research paper may request to revise it for SWR credit.

Course Concentrations

Constitutional Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of constitutional law; Perform legal analysis in the context of constitutional law; Communicate effectively on topics related to constitutional law; Demonstrate an understanding of constitutional law affects other areas of law.

Courts and the Judicial System Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of both substantive and procedural issues in the operation of our legal system; Perform legal analysis in the context of procedural issues and the judicial process; Communicate effectively on topics related to procedure and the judicial process; Demonstrate an understanding of how procedural issues and the judicial process affect all other area of our legal system.

Perspectives on the Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.

Administrative and Regulatory Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of administrative and regulatory law and the administrative process, including the role of statutory authorization and work of administrative agencies; Perform legal analysis in the context of administrative and regulatory law; Communicate effectively on topics related to administrative and regulatory law; Demonstrate an understanding of the role administrative and regulatory law play in our legal system and in society as a whole.

Public Interest Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of public interest law; Perform legal analysis in the context of public interest law; Communicate effectively on topics related to public interest law; Demonstrate an understanding of how public interest law is connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.

Equity and Inclusion Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of the varied legal aspects of equity and inclusion; Perform legal analysis in the context of topics related to equity and inclusion; Communicate effectively on the legal aspects of equity and inclusion; Demonstrate an understanding of how equity and inclusion are connected to and affected by a wide variety of legal and regulatory structures and doctrines.