This course will explore the relationship between constitutional rights, the economy, and efforts to maintain a democracy today.
We will examine the emergence and transformation of the notion of “civil liberties” as a concept in American legal culture, including by reference to the history of the protection of economic liberties. We will explore in detail some of the most prominent current controversies in constitutional law, including questions in the law of democracy (particularly free speech and the regulation of campaign finance) and the growing conflict between the Constitution and the regulation of economic life.
The readings will include principal Supreme Court cases and leading scholarship in the field. The materials will focus throughout on notions of freedom and liberty, individual and collective choice, and democratic practice. The course will additionally include discussion of constitutional and appellate advocacy and the relationship between the academic works we read and current and seminal cases. Leading practitioners and scholars may join us for certain classes.