Political Science | Moral Basis of American Law
Y210 | 9763 | Failer

First 8 weeks
In this class, we will use basic works and concepts in jurisprudence
to help us understand contemporary problems in American law, and vice
versa.  After spending several weeks focusing on the meaning and
nature of law, we will use these basic ideas to examine several
important historical and contemporary legal controversies in the
United States, including slavery, school desegregation, affirmative
action, abortion, drug use in religious practice, and hate speech.
In turn, these vexing legal problems should illuminate some of the
strengths and weaknesses of existing legal theories.  Throughout the
semester, we will evaluate the extent to which the Constitution
resembles -- and differs -- from traditional conceptions of law.  We
will also grapple with the dilemma of the proper relation of law and
morality.  During the last five sessions for the course, we will
engage in a series of moot courts in which students will have the
opportunity to serve and attorneys and justices in landmark Supreme
Court cases.