Mitchell | Hamline School of Law
Course Information Pages

Constitutional Law and Civil Rights


Criminal Procedure (1204)

Provides an introduction to federal constitutional limitations on governmental power to investigate, prosecute, and incarcerate individuals, including stopping and detaining people, arrest, frisks, searches and seizures, custodial interrogations, right to counsel, identification procedures, confrontation, and double jeopardy.

Grading: To be determined.

Credits: 3

Offered: Fall/Spring

Subject Areas: Academic Support and Bar Preparation, Civil Litigation, Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, Criminal Law

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Constitutional Law -- Powers (2410)

Covers powers of national government including judicial review and limitations on judicial power, separation of powers, Congress' commerce power, taxing and spending power, and power to enforce civil rights; reserved power of states to regulate and tax commerce; standing of parties and ripeness of disputes.

Grading: Letter graded

Credits: 3

Offered: Fall

Categories: Bar Courses, Required

Subject Areas: Academic Support and Bar Preparation, Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

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Liberties: Advanced Legal Reasoning (2421)

Teaches advanced legal reasoning in the context of the federal constitutional limitations on the national and state governments including substantive due process, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and equal protection.

Grading: Letter graded

Credits: 3

Offered: Spring

Categories: Bar Courses, Required

Subject Areas: Academic Support and Bar Preparation, Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

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Seminar: Religion and the Constitution (2440)

The course will examine the history of the religion clauses, including the major influences on the concept of religious liberty. It will also focus on the current issues, with special attention to United States Supreme Court decisions dealing with government aid to religion, religion in the public schools, and the religious liberties of individuals and churches.

Grading: Letter graded.

Credits: 2 or 3

Offered: Irregularly

Categories: Long Paper

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

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Marshall Brennan Seminar (3009)

Law students selected to be Marshall-Brennan Fellows are placed in St. Paul public high schools in pairs to teach constitutional law to 11th and 12th graders. Following a base curriculum, Fellows plan lessons, conduct classes, and grade assignments. Fellows teach in the high schools five days a week for approximately nine weeks. Coinciding with their high school placement, Fellows participate in a weekly seminar taught by law school faculty. The weekly seminar focuses on constitutional cases of particular interest and relevance to high school students. During the seminar, Fellows learn about the constitutional law cases they will be teaching and develop teaching strategies and lesson plans. The semester concludes with a moot court competition in which all the high school students are encouraged to participate. ebsite.

Grading: Letter graded

Credits: 4

Offered: Fall

Categories: Experiential

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

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Election Law (3031)

This course will examine constitutional and statutory regulation of the electoral process. We will explore topics including the right to vote; representation, districting, and gerrymandering; the Voting Rights Act; election administration; campaigns and campaign speech; political parties; and campaign finance laws and reform.

Grading: Letter graded.

Credits: 3

Offered: Spring

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

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Sexual Orientation and the Law (3350)

Sexual behavior is an essential part of human existence. The species could not survive without it. Similarly, the law as an institution is central to modern ordered society. One might thus expect the interface between the law, as elemental definer of society, and sexuality, as essential part of human life, to be not only fascinating, but also much explored. Although indeed fascinating, the subject has only now, since the end of the 20th century, begun to attract serious academic inquiry. We will investigate a series of key issues in sexuality from various legal and jurisprudential perspectives, including contraception, abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, sexual violence and pornography. Limited Enrollment.

Grading: Letter graded.

Credits: 2 or 3

Offered: Fall

Categories: Long Paper

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

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Media Law (3530)

This class is about the First Amendment and the Free Press. We will discuss a selection of the legal issues generated by the activities of the mass media. We will consider regulations of print, broadcast, and electronic media, including laws that govern obscenity and pornography, laws aimed at balancing free press and fair trial rights, and laws meant to preserve multiple voices in a market. We will explore publication-related issues such as libel and invasion of privacy, and newsgathering-related issues such as the extent of the reporter's privilege and restrictions on access to information. We will examine common law, regulatory law including Federal Communications Commission regulations, and statutory law including the Freedom of Information Act, but the primary focus of the course will be on how the First Amendment limits governmental control over the media. The final grade will be based on class participation, an exam, and preparation of a paper on a topic selected by the student and approved by the professor. With the professor's prior approval, students may prepare a "long paper" to satisfy the Advanced Research and Writing requirement. This is a seminar course with limited enrollment.

Grading: Letter-graded

Credits: Variable

Offered: e/o Fall

Categories: Long Paper

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, Intellectual Property

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Seminar: First Amendment (4102)

An intensive course in First Amendment jurisprudence and theory, focusing on the Freedom of Speech and Press Clauses.

Grading:

Credits: 2 or 3

Offered: Spring

Categories: Long Paper

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

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Seminar: Second Amendment (4103)

Grading: Letter graded

Credits: Variable

Offered:

Categories: Long Paper

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

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Federal Indian Law (4313)

Examines the legal and historical basis for the relationship between Indian tribes and the state and federal governments. Emphasizes present problems of civil and criminal jurisdiction, protection of Indian resources, Indian gaming, economic development, taxation and regulation of Indians and non-Indians in Indian Country, and tribal sovereignty.

Grading: Exam

Credits: 3

Offered: Fall

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights

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Animal Law (4700)

The field of animal law has grown exponentially in recent years, capturing the attention of practioners and academicians as well as the general public. Far from being a homogeneous area of study, animal law draws from and impacts many facets of "traditional" legal practice. This course will explore how animal-law issues are pushing courts and legislatures to consider hybrid applications of law covering a variety of practice areas. Examples include awarding damages for emotional distress and loss of companionship in tort law; applying the "best interests" standard to animals in family law; patenting of various life forms in intellectual-property law; and using pet trusts in estate planning. In this class, we will look at animal-related legal issues touching on these and other legal areas, including criminal law, constitutional law, contracts and property. In addition to analyzing cases, we will address key federal statutes such as the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act. Students will be able to identify current trends in animal law and potential areas of development both nationally and internationally. They will be able to apply sound legal analysis and presentation skills to legal issues related to animals. The course will utilize a combination of teaching techniques: case study discussions, short in-class writing exercises, mock negotiations, student and instructor presentations, guest lecturers, and panel discussions, Our approach is to provide a learning environment that encourages active student engagement through interactive exercises, student presentations, and individual explorations. This course would be limited to 18 participants, including auditors, in order to maximize participation and discussion opportunities.

Grading: One short case analysis, presented orally (20%); 12-15 page course paper (60%); class participation (20%).

Credits: 2

Offered: e/o Fall

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, Real Estate Law, Torts

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Race and the Law Seminar (4945)

Explores the many ways in which race and the law have interacted historically and continue to interact. Students read and discuss a wide variety of materials, presenting a variety of viewpoints. Materials include historical, social-scientific, critical race theory, and feminist writers, as well as current legal materials. The goal in the seminar is to assist each participant to develop his or her own thinking on this important current issue.

Grading: Letter-graded.

Credits: Variable

Offered: Spring

Categories: Long Paper

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, Jurisprudence and Legal History

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Education Law (K-12) -- Contemporary Issues In Public Education (5302)

This course is intended to introduce law students to the law and policy relating to public education (K-12) in the United States. The course will examine the authority of the state to compel attendance, regulate the contents of curriculum, the control and discipline of students and teachers, the relationship between public schools and religion, freedom of expression, tort liability, maltreatment of minors, equal education opportunity under Title IX, Title VI, bilingual education statutes and the educational rights of disabled children.

Grading: Exam

Credits: 2

Offered: e/o Fall

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, Government Practice, Torts

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National Security Law (9910)

Within a separation-of-powers framework, this course analyzes the laws and policies that affect the detention, interrogation, and trial of suspected terrorists. Other topics include covert action, irregular rendition, the gathering of intelligence through human sources and technical means, and restrictions on the disclosure of classified information. Most important to the analysis is a balance between public safety and personal liberties.

Grading: Exam

Credits: Variable

Offered: e/o Spring

Categories: Long Paper

Subject Areas: Constitutional Law and Civil Rights, Government Practice

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