Legal Studies Courses Spring 2017

***Always check the OSOC for the latest most up-to-date info.***

NOTE: For Old Plan Areas, please refer to the ‘Courses’ list for the  Old Plan.

R1B: The Movement for Lesbian and Gay Parental Equality: A Critical Assessment, Mark Leinauer, 4 units, Area N/A

NOTE: R1B courses must be taken for a letter grade.
**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

Lesbian and gay parents have endured a long fight for legal equality and their struggle continues. This class will use case law and related scholarship to trace the last fifty years of this movement, with a particular focus on the legal treatment of gay and lesbian parents in adoption and custody procedures. Students will be asked to critically assess the arguments for and against lesbian and gay parental fitness throughout the course of this struggle, including but not limited to: natural law based arguments, arguments asserting the deficiency of lesbian and gay parents per se, the influence of gender norms in the evaluation of parental fitness and the division of parental labor, state assumptions of and preferences for heterosexual primacy, and the influence of implicit bias. Students will be asked to write a series of essays and a final paper on these topics; in so doing they will learn to critically asses both case law and scholarship relating to that case law. They will also develop a deep, legal knowledge of a highly relevant social movement.
A central focus of this class will be the writing process and thus a portion of the class will be devoted to the creation of coherent and persuasive written arguments

39D: Current Political & Moral Conflicts & the Constitution  Frosh/Soph Seminar, Pomerantz, 2 units, Area N/A (We plan to hold two sections of 39D Sp17.)

**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

We will read Supreme Court cases, as well as political and legal commentary from across the political spectrum, and consider not only the opinions of the Justices, but also why they hold those opinions. We will seek to discover the way in which courts use authority and craft law.

88: Crime and Punishment: taking the measure of the U.S. Justice System, 2 units Dag MacLeod
NOTE: This Data Science Connector course is meant to be taken concurrently with Computer Science C8/Statistics C8/Information C8: Foundations of Data Science. Students may take more than one 88 (data science connector) course if they wish, ideally concurrent with or after having taken the C8 course.

**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

We will explore how data are used in the criminal justice system by exploring the debates surrounding mass incarceration and evaluating a number of different data sources that bear on police practices, incarceration, and criminal justice reform. Students will be required to think critically about the debates regarding criminal justice in the US and to work with various public data sets to assess the extent to which these data confirm or deny specific policy narratives. Building on skills from Foundations of Data Science, students will be required to use basic data management skills working in Python: data cleaning, aggregation, merging and appending data sets, collapsing variables, summarizing findings, and presenting data visualizations.

100: Foundations of Legal Studies, Simon, 4 units, Core (H, SS)

This is a liberal arts course designed to introduce students to the foundational frameworks and cross-disciplinary perspectives from humanities and social sciences that distinguish legal studies as a scholarly field. It provides a comparative and historical intro to forms, ideas, institutions, and systems of law and sociological ordering. It highlights basic theoretical problems and scholarly methods for understanding questions of law and justice.

102: Policing & Society, Perry, 4 units,  Area I

This course examines the American social institution of policing with particular emphasis on urban law enforcement. It explores the social, economic and cultural forces that pull policing in the direction of state legal authority and power as well as those that are a counter-weight to the concentration of policing powers in the state. Special attention is given to how policing shapes and is shaped by the urban landscape, legal to cultural.

105: Foundations of Criminal Law, Dan-Cohen, 3 units, Area I or II or III

Perhaps more than any other legal area, criminal law raises fundamental theoretical issues that have occupied philosophers over the years. This is not surprising in light of the obvious proximity between the enterprise of using state coercion to punish the guilty on the one hand and central concerns of moral and political philosophy on the other. In the course we’ll discuss a selection of articles that bring to bear such a philosophical perspective on important aspects of criminal law. The topics include the justification of punishment, the foundations of blame and responsibility, the substantive values protected by criminal law, the significance of actual harm, the liability of groups and other collectivities, and the virtues and limits of the rule of law.

132AC: Immigration & Citizenship, Volpp, 4 units, Area II or IV

We often hear that America is a “nation of immigrants.” This representation of the U.S. does not explain why some are presumed to belong and others are not. We will examine both historical and contemporary law of immigration and citizenship to see how law has shaped national identity and the identity of immigrant communities. In addition to scholarly texts, we will learn to read and analyze excerpts of cases and the statute that governs immigration and citizenship, the Immigration and Nationality Act.

138: The Supreme Court & Public Policy, Manoj Mate,  4 units, Core (SS) or Area IV or V

This course examines a number of leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions in terms of what policy alternatives were available to the Court and which ones it chose. Prospective costs and benefits of these alternatives and who will pay the costs and who gets the benefits of them are considered. Among the areas considered are economic development, government regulation of business, national security, freedom of speech and discrimination. Readings are solely of Supreme Court decisions.

139: Comparative Perspectives on Norms & Legal Traditions, Mayali, 4 units, Area V

This course is an introduction to the comparative study of different legal cultures and traditions including common law, civil law, socialist law and religious law. A section of the class will be dedicated to the comparison of the colonial and post-colonial legal process in Latin America and in Africa.

152AC: Human Rights & Technology, Keith Hiatt, 4 units, Area II or III or IV

Scientific advances promise great increases in social good, but whether those advancements herald a better or worse world, depends on how scientific knowledge is applied. Applying scientific knowledge in the service of humanity is challenging, and requires an informed, deliberate method. Through lectures, discussions, case studies, and field research, students will gain an understanding of the international human rights framework, historical and social context for contemporary human rights violations, insights into the role of race, gender, and technology in structural inequality, opportunities to work across disciplines on real-world design challenges, and experience assessing needs and designing for specific, selected human rights apps.

153: Law & Society in Asia, Marshall, 4 units, Area II or V

This course offers a comparative perspective on law and legal institutions. Looking comparatively helps shed light on our own system and question what is “normal” or “natural.” From what it means to be a lawyer to notions of what is “just” or “fair,” courts and dispute resolution outside the U.S. can be both very different and, at times, surprisingly familiar. After an overview of concepts and classic approaches to the study of law and society, the course will explore these differences and similarities in three Asian settings: China, Japan, and India. Topics include lawyers, illicit sex, and environmental protection, to see how each country’s history, political structure, values, and interests shape how legal issues are defined and play out.

154: Human Rights Research & Practice, Koenig/Stover, 4 units, Area IV

This course provides an overview of international human rights, including the field’s historical and theoretical foundations; the jurisprudence of international human rights; empirical insights from disciplines such as sociology, psychology, history, and anthropology; and emerging trends in human rights practice.

159: Introduction to Law & Sexuality, Katyal, 4 units, Area II or IV

This course focuses on the legal regulation of sexuality, and the social and historical norms and frameworks that affect its intersection with sex, gender, race, disability, and class. We will critically examine how the law shapes sexuality and how sexuality shapes the law. Our subject matter is mostly constitutional, covering sexuality’s intersection with privacy, freedom of expression, gender identity and expression, equal protection, reproduction, kinship, and family formation, among other subjects. We will study case law, legal articles, and other texts (including visual works) that critically engage issues of sexuality, citizenship, nationhood, religion, and the public and private spheres domestically and internationally.

160: Punishment, Culture, and Society, Perry, 4 units, Core (H, SS) or Area I or II

This course surveys the development of Western penal practices, institutions, and ideas (what David Garland calls “penality”) from the eighteenth-century period to the present. Our primary focus will be on penal practices and discourses in United States in the early 21st century. In particular we will examine the extraordinary growth of US penal sanctions in the last quarter century and the sources and consequences of what some have called “mass imprisonment.” To gain some comparative perspective the course will also take up contemporary penality (or penalities) in Europe, South Africa, Central America, and Asia, as well as US penality and society at some earlier conjunctures.
In our analysis of penality, we will draw upon a range of social science theories with general relevance but with particularly rich application to the study of punishment. These theories provide the “tool kits” we will use to interpret and analyze multiplex implications of punishment and its relationship to changes in economic, social, and political relations associated with modernization and more recently the globalization of modern capitalism. The course will examine many examples of penal practices and the ideas associated with them including mass imprisonment, the death penalty, and restorative justice. In the last portion of the class we will examine the recent crisis in California’s juvenile prisons through the lenses both of different social theories and the examples of different national and historical penal patterns.

173: Making Empire: Law & the Colonization of America, Tomlins, 4 units, Area II or V

This is an intro to the origins, development, and expansion of European settlement on the North American mainland. We will concentrate on the impulses – commercial, ideological, and racial – that drove European colonizing; the migrations (voluntary and forced) that sustained it; and the political and legal “technologies” that supplied it with definition, explanation, and institutional capacity. We will pay attention to themes of sovereignty, civic identity, race, and “manifest destiny” and will discuss how law provided both the language and technical capacity to transform territory into property, people into slaves, and the land’s indigenous inhabitants into “others” who existed “outside” the civic order of the American Republic.

LS 177: American Legal & Constitutional History, R. B. Brown, 4 units, Core (H)  or Area II or III or V

This course explores the history of American legal institutions and doctrine from colonial times to the present. It deals both with the history of American constitutional law (through the study of major U.S. Supreme Court opinions) and with the development of certain important bodies of non-constitutional law, such as the law of property, the law of torts (civil wrongs), and criminal law. In exploring how American law has developed over time the course may serve as something of an introduction to our current legal and constitutional order.

C185: Prison (Big Ideas Course), Simon, 4 units, Area I

NOTE: ***This is a cross-listed course with Legal Studies (C185), Ethnic Studies (C181) and Social Welfare (C185).  Any of the three sections can be added and still count towards the major, but it is best to sign up for our section LS C185. If you do sign up under Ethnic Studies or Social Welfare, it won’t be counted as a law-related course, so you can still take two law-related courses from other departments. Let me know if you have questions.***

Taking a broad inter-disciplinary approach, this course embraces the longue durée of critical prison studies, questioning the shadows of normality that cloak mass incarceration both across the globe and, more particularly, in the contemporary United States. While speaking very directly to the prison system, this course intends to reorganize the logics of an institution we commonly accept as the reasonable destination for those identified as “criminal”. This interdisciplinary project recognizes that we cannot possibly teach about the presence and persistence of punishment and prisons in contemporary American life without inviting conversation across time periods, genres, and geographies. This course thus explores a series of visceral, unsettling juxtapositions: ‘freedom’ and ‘slavery’; ‘citizenship’ and ‘subjugation’; ‘marginalization’ and ‘inclusion’, in each case explicating the ways that story making, political demagoguery, and racial, class, and sexual inequalities have wrought an untenable social condition.

190.1: Constitutions in Comparative Perspective, Shapiro, 4 units, Area V

An examination of constitutional decision making in a number of countries based on selected high court opinions.

190.2:  Basic Legal Values, Dan-Cohen, 4 units, Area II

Although everyone agrees that law promotes some values, what these values are is often unclear and controversial. This is increasingly the case the more we come to recognize cultural diversity and moral pluralism faced by the law. In this seminar we will examine a number of values that have been advanced within the liberal tradition, such as well-being, autonomy, and dignity, and consider their potential role in shaping or explaining a wide range of legal disputes. The seminar will divide into two parts. In the first, we’ll get acquainted with these values in the context of the two main strands in liberal moral theory – utilitarianism and Kantianism – and consider some general issues concerning the meaning of these values and their interrelationships. The second part will consist of student presentations on specific substantive topics in which the general issues discussed in the first part arise.

190.4: Race in American Law, Emily Bruce, 4 units, Area II or IV

From our founding documents to our immigration policy to our criminal justice system, ideas about race are embedded into America’s legal institutions. Yet despite the ubiquity of race in the structures that govern us, many of the actors who shape our legal landscape operate under unexamined assumptions about what race really is and what role it should and does play in our society. In this course, we will investigate how legal institutions in the United States have defined race in ways both subtle and overt. We will also consider the role we think race should play in America’s public policy in light of the ideals and values our governing documents articulate.

H195C: Legal Studies Honors Research and Writing Seminar, Edelman, 1 unit, Areas not applicable.

The goal of the seminar is to provide Honors students additional support as they conduct the research for and write their senior honors theses, and prepare presentations for the Spring Studies Undergraduate Research Conference. Honors students enroll in the one unit LS H195C seminar during the second semester of the Honors Program along with the four units of LS H195B.

 

 

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