Constitutional Law II: Money and Constitutional Rights

Section 1, Spring 17

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 39/44
Credits: 3

Course Description

This class will examine the relationship between money and constitutional rights.  How does money – its presence or absence – affect rights?  Some constitutional rights require that if one is too poor to exercise them, the State must provide what one cannot afford– the criminal defendant’s right to a lawyer, for example.  But others do not – the right to procreative liberty doesn’t guarantee an abortion to poor women who cannot afford one.  What, if anything, explains and justifies this difference in treatment? 

Relatedly, when a person spends money in exercising a constitutionally protected right, is the spending of money part of that right?  For example, is spending money to speak (in favor of a political candidate or issue, for example) part of the freedom of speech protected by the Constitution? Is spending money to pay a gestational surrogate part of the procreative liberty protected by the Constitution?

Ever since the rejection of the Lochner-era, our Constitutional law has distinguished between economic liberties and so-called personal liberties, providing the first with little judicial protection and the latter with robust judicial protection.  What, if anything, explains and justifies this distinction?  Lately, this bifurcation in constitutional law has become controversial.  Critics from the political right have argued for more robust protection of economic liberties and critics of the Court’s campaign finance jurisprudence have argued that protection of “speech” has created a modern version of Lochner.       

Materials in the course will include cases, law review articles and occasionally more philosophical works. 


Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): None

Written Work Product
Written Work Product:

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: Constitutional Law Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: Money and Rights
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Concentrations: Constitutional Law
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens:
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: