State Constitutional Litigation (Tulante/Feder)
R 6:30PM - 8:30PM
Silverman Hall 270
This course examines the increasingly critical (yet often overlooked) role of state constitutional law in vindicating fundamental rights. With the expectation that the United States Supreme Court, under a solidly conservative majority, will take a narrow view of fundamental rights under the federal constitution, it is an opportune time to examine areas where state supreme courts, in interpreting their own constitutions, can protect fundamental rights beyond those guaranteed by the federal constitution. Specifically, we will evaluate recent state-court decisions involving redistricting, education funding, the death penalty, free exercise of religion, criminal procedure, among others, in Pennsylvania and other states. To provide some context, we will also probe how state constitutions are amended, and other background topics. We will be joined by guest speakers who have been involved in some of the state-court litigation to share their perspectives from the front-lines.
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.
"State Constitutional Law: The Modern Experience" by Randy J. Holland, Stephen R. McAllister, Jeffrey M. Shaman, Jeffrey S. Sutton