General Course Descriptions for Terms: constitutional


725 - Introduction to Criminal Procedure

This section of Criminal Procedure is for students who do not necessarily see themselves practicing criminal law. We will of course cover the essentials of criminal procedure: policing, prosecutorial discretion and obligations, the defense function, role of the trial court judge, motions practice - particularly motions grounded in the 4th, 5th and 6th amendments, plea bargaining, the trial process, victims' rights, and sentencing. But we will approach these subjects from the perspective that while not everybody wants to practice criminal law, every lawyer needs to understand how criminal law operates and why. Guest speakers will include practitioners from various segments of the criminal justice system. Grades will be based on a final exam, with the opportunity for extra credit from a field studies project. Learning Outcomes: Introduction to Criminal Procedure (LaVigne) This course looks at the three stages of the criminal justice system: Investigation, Adjudication & Disposition. At the end of this course, students will have a working knowledge of the constitutional principles that apply to these processes; specifically the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Because criminal justice is widely considered to be one of the civil rights issues of our time, we will also delve into the factors that affect the quality of justice. The most salient factor is discretion. Students will have an understanding of how law enforcement, the prosecution, and judges exercise discretion, and how that discretion is shaped by societal pressure and norms, implicit bias, funding, case load, departmental policy, and office/department/courthouse culture. Students will also learn how that discretion can make or break “justice.” In addition, students will learn how courts apply the constitutional principles and how those applications and interpretations directly affect the actions of other players in the system, including defense counsel. Of course, we cannot overlook the significance of politics and funding in the quality of justice. Students will learn how funding affects practice. This can be most clearly felt in the quality of indigent defense. Students should come away with an understanding of why the current state of indigent defense has been called a crisis. Students will also learn about sentencing and mass-incarceration, and the role that politics and funding play. If I have to boil this down to a single “outcome,” it is that the students will come away nuanced understanding of the complexities of the out-sized behemoth we call the criminal justice system, and why so many questions are being raised about its fairness and effectiveness. Student performance is assessed primarily by a final exam. However, field observations will also be factored in.



731 - Constitutional Law I



740 - Constitutional Law II

This course covers civil and individual rights at the federal level. Emphasis is on the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment, including substantive due process, privacy, discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexual preference and other characteristics, fundamental rights and affirmative action.



744 - Administrative Law

This course is an introduction to the federal administrative state. We will study both the powers that agencies possess and the constitutional, statutory, and other limitations on those powers. We will explore the relationship of agencies to Congress, the courts, the President, and the public; the procedures through which agencies operate; and the availability and scope of judicial review of agency action. Along the way, we will consider the rationales for delegating power to agencies, the implications of the ways agencies are structured, and the values that do or should guide agency conduct. The course thus has theoretical components, but it is also extremely practical, and I will emphasize both theory and practice during the course. The work of federal agencies affects nearly every area of modern life, from environmental protection to financial markets to national security—not to mention public health, medicine,voting, and mail.This course will prepare you to engage with that law, whether as a public servant, a lawyer representing a client, or a citizen interacting with your government. Understanding how regulation works will serve you well in your legal careers (and your lives), whatever you choose to do with your degree.



785 - Islamic Law & Jurisprudence

This class is designed to give students a basic understanding of the internal workings of Islamic law at its theoretical roots. This will be done by analyzing the various methodologies that are represented in Islamic legal literature, helping to enable the students to identify modern manifestations of these methodologies in contemporary Muslim discourses. Specifically, we will undertake a study of ijtihad, the mechanism of Islamic legal reasoning, focusing on the role of human fallibility in interpreting divine text, issues of certainty and probability in Islamic lawmaking, and the resulting landscape of multiple schools of law (madhhabs). Students will be asked to compare similarities and differences, and offer their own critiques of various approaches. There is additional attention to the specific doctrinal areas of Islamic family law and criminal law. The class also contextualizes the subject of Islamic law within various governmental and constitutional structures, beginning with the classical period, continuing through colonialism and reaching into the present day. Attentive students should come away from the class with a working understanding of the various methodologies in classical Islamic jurisprudence, as well as an appreciation of the types of Islamic legal arguments that are employed in global Muslim debates today. Reading Materials: Readings will be from a professor-created collection provided on an online moodle site. Final grade will be based on a final term paper or final project/presentation, with added points for class participation throughout the semester.



854 - Clinical Program: Constitutional Litigation, Appeals & Sentencing Project (CLASP)



904 - SP Con Law: WI Constitution, Law & Society

This course will be an exercise in ‘constitutionalism’. The course will address not only court opinions interpreting the State constitution, but will spend significant time with the document itself. We will cover the history of the document from its initial drafting through amendment exercises, including currently proposed amendments. The class will actually read the State Constitution and discuss its historical context, overall logic, and meaning: i.e., is this document one of restricted, expressly enumerated powers; or is it a wholesale grant of plenary authority (or power) to the government institutions it establishes? We will do a textual analysis particularly focusing on the relationships between and among various Articles, sections, and provisions. While we all have learned the importance of the basic ‘separation of powers’ between legislative, executive, and judicial functions, this course will teach that, as important as it is to separate powers in government, perhaps it is equally if not even more important to separate powers from government. As a result we will study the relationship(s) between the constitution and the ‘liberty sphere’ where the citizenry, property, and societal institutions reside (i.e., corporations, unions, families, marriages, religions, churches, political parties, etc.) The course will focus on certain constitutional provisions and developments unique or peculiar to our State’s constitution, including legislative committees playing a participant role in the executive or administrative process even after enactment of a law; legislators having standing to file suit; the idea of the ‘constitutional office’; the ever-looming ‘partial-veto’; the lengthy provisions on non-governmental social issues du jour – i.e., gaming, the Public Trust Doctrine, anti-gay marriage, as well as other hot-button issues today: redistricting, selection of judges, open meetings, resurrecting a meaningful State Bill of Rights, and the constitutional amendment process. Additional readings may include a book by Professor Dinan on State constitutions generally as well as several law review articles on the Wisconsin Constitution. The course, however, will not be all constitutional theory. We will study how law is made is Wisconsin. We will study the structure and processes of the Wisconsin court system. We will look at administrative processes in general including, for example, our contested rule-making requirements. Several guest speakers will be invited to present on their respective areas of government practice or expertise. The course will be offered for 2 or 3 credit option. Both the 2 and 3-credit requirements will include one two hour class session per week and a two-hour final exam. The 3-credit requirement will add a paper from 5 to 7 (10-15 double-spaced) page paper.



905 - Bioethics & the Law

Should the court grant a habeas corpus motion on behalf of chimpanzees in a zoo? Should the federal government or a sports organization ban the use of gene editing to enhance our muscles? If a divorcing couple disagree about what to do with frozen embryos left over from a failed attempt at pregnancy, how should a court rule on the dispute? Bioethics & the Law addresses some of the most controversial and through-provoking controversies today, including the definition of morally significant and legally protected human life; the limits of government regulation of human reproduction; the use of human beings in medical experimentation; the role of contract and personal choice in the development of legal kinship ties; rationing of life-saving organ transplants; the genetics of race; and the medical, legal and philosophical definition of death. This year the course is structured as follows: On Tuesdays there will be a lecture on the topic of the week, given by Professor Charo, Professor Kelleher (from the Dept of Medical History and Bioethics) or a guest specialist, and students from an undergraduate philosophy/medical ethics course will be joining us. On Thursdays, the law students meet alone with Professor Charo for discussion of the readings and class debate. Readings for the law students will be a combination of shorter pieces from philosophy, medicine and science fiction, along with classic common law and constitutional law cases. Legal concepts touched on include kinship, personhood, liberty, equity and autonomy. Prior knowledge of constitutional law and administrative law helpful but not required. Students will be required to write a 25-30-page paper on one of several topics announced by the instructor. There is no final exam. Learning objectives: By the end of the course, students will be familiar with seminal cases and controversies that have the defined the norms of modern medical ethics; will appreciate the inconsistencies in Supreme Court jurisprudence regarding procreative liberty; will be able to describe and critique the use of terms such as “liberty,” “autonomy,” “life,” “death” and “parent” as used in statutes and decisions; and will be knowledgeable about the most current debates concerning the role of the state and federal governments in setting limits on personal choice over procreation, medical enhancement, and the timing of one’s death.



940 - Food Law

Sharpen your most important legal skills while you snack. Students will write briefs and present oral arguments on the hottest topics in food law today. What is "natural?" Is Wisconsin's "Cheeseburger Law" unconstitutional? Can food executives be sent to prison for the negligence of their companies? Lots more, because in this class a J.D. is just a Jelly Doughnut. Eating in class is not only allowed, it is required By the end of this course, students should understand: 1. How the law embodies our twelve expectations of food; 2. The history of food regulation in the United States and the relationship between the states and federal government in food oversight; 3. The role of litigation in protecting food safety and preventing food fraud; 4. The importance of core constitutional principles (First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Commerce Clause, and Supremacy Clause) in food law; 5. How the law may be used to advance a national food policy, including a healthier diet; 6. The role of the criminal law in advancing food safety.



950 - European Union Law

European Union Law – Fall 2021 Instructor(s): Luehrs, Lisa Marie; Runge, Vanessa Course Description: The subject of this six-week, one-credit course taught by Professors from Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany, will be an "Introduction to the Law of the European Union." This will be a general introduction to the legal system of the European Union covering both its constitutional and institutional architecture and focusing on a selection of issues including (1) the EU institutional setting, (2) sources of EU law (treaties, secondary legislation, law-making procedures, direct effect, supremacy), (3) remedies in EU law (enforcement proceedings, preliminary references, direct actions, liability), (4) general principles of EU law (human rights, citizenship, rule of law, discrimination, proportionality), (5) the internal market (free movement of goods, persons, services and capital), and (6) a brief overview of other policies of the EU. The focus will be on understanding the underlying principles of European legal integration and becoming familiar with European Union legal sources. Note: Prof Luehrs will teach on Friday, September 10, 17 and 24; Prof Runge will teach on Friday, Oct 1, 8 and 15. There will be a final exam that will be conducted remotely and scheduled for Saturday, October 16th.