Spring 2014
    Law No.: LAW8021
    Sched. No.: 114219194

Constitutional Law II: Law and the Theory of Equal Protection
Section 1
Hellman, Deborah

Administrative Information:
During SIS enrollment, check on SIS for real-time enrollment numbers
Days, Times (Room):TR, 1000-1120 (SL294)
Capacity:44 **This information is current as of 04/15/2014 06:14:50 AM**
Current Enrollment:38 **This information is current as of 04/15/2014 06:14:50 AM**
Syllabus: View Syllabus (requires LawWeb account)

Course Description:

This course will provide an in-depth look at the case law and theory of the Equal Protection Clause. Beginning with the observation that laws and policies routinely draw distinctions among people (e.g., you have to be 16 or older to drive), the course will attempt to find and evaluate the theory that underlies Equal Protection doctrine. The course will address this question from both a normative and a descriptive perspective. We will ask what value or combination of values best justifies our Equal Protection doctrine? Among the possibilities we will discuss are rationality, equality and liberty. For example, both rationality review and the heightened scrutiny requirement that a classification be “narrowly tailored” or “substantially related” to a governmental interest insist that laws that classify do so rationally. Is irrationality then the normative heart of an equal protection violation? Alternatively, the text of the Clause, as well as its history, suggests that equality is the value that animates it. Much equal protection case law surely supports this view. Finally, some scholars argue instead that the equal protection of the laws is best conceived as a guarantee that all people have the freedom to make choices about their lives, unencumbered by disadvantages linked to particular traits. This vision, which finds support in the Fundamental Interests strand of Equal Protection doctrine, as well as elsewhere, sees liberty, or its close cousin autonomy, as the value that grounds our Equal Protection doctrine.

itutional Law
Six short papers

Prerequisites:Constitutional Law