Syllabus for PPO-180, Law and Public Policy

Fall, 2014


Syllabus for PPO-180, Law and Public Policy

Fall, 2014


All readings are from either my website:

or from the two assigned books:



Hollow Hope – Gerald Rosenberg

Class Action – Clara Bingham & Laura Gansler



Thursday, Aug. 28 – Introduction to the American Judicial System.


            Readings:  McGuire v. McGuire; Understanding Federal Courts


Tuesday, Sept. 2 – Introduction to Court Structure, cont’d; Why Courts matter – Do Courts matter?


Readings: Marc Galanter, “Why the Haves Come Out Ahead.” Hollow Hope Introduction, chaps 2-3.


Thursday, Sept. 4 – NAACP Legal Defense Fund and Brown v. Board of Education


Readings: Brown v. Board of Education; Michael Klarman, “Brown v. Board of Education: Law or Politics.


Tuesday, Sept. 9 – Brown and the Civil Rights Movement - Montgomery Bus Boycott, Little Rock; Direct action in the 1960’s


Readings: Cooper v. Aaron.


Thursday, Sept. 11 – White Backlash and the Effectiveness of the Court


Readings: Hollow Hope – Chaps. 4-5; Michael Klarman, “Why Massive Resistance;” Civil Rights Act of 1964; Voting Rights Act of 1965.


Tuesday, Sept. 16 – Racial Equality since Brown.


Readings: Milliken v. Bradley; Washington v. Davis; Parents Involved v. Seattle School District.


Thursday, Sept. 18 – Did Brown work?



Tuesday, Sept. 23 – First Exam on Court and Civil Rights era.


Thursday, Sept. 25 – Gender and the Constitution


Reading: Serena Mayeri “When the Trouble Started: The Story of Frontiero v. Richardson


Tuesday, Sept. 30 – Sex and Civil Rights – Creating Doctrines of Sex Discrimination,       Sexual Harassment and Hostile Work Environment.


            Readings: Reva B. Siegel, “A Short History of Sexual Harassment


Thursday, Oct. 2 – Gender equality in the trial courts.


            Readings: Class Action – Chaps. 1- 6           


Tuesday, Oct. 7– Gender Equality in the Frigid North


Readings: Class Action – Chaps. 7 - 17, Jenson v. Eveleth Mines 8th cir. opinion.


Thursday, Oct. 9 – Administrative Law, Special Masters and Institutional Resistance.


Readings: Sophia Z. Lee, “Race, Sex, and Rulemaking: Administrative Constitutionalism and the Workplace, 1960 to the present.”


Tuesday, Oct. 14 – Affirmative Action in Higher Education.


Readings: Bakke v. University of California Regents, University of Michigan Cases – Gratz v. Bollinger, Grutter v. Bollinger,


Thursday, Oct. 16 – Affirmative Action in Action.


Readings: Richard Sander, “Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools;” David Wilkens, “A Systematic Response to Systemic Disadvantage: A Response to Sander.


Tuesday, Oct. 21 – Exam on Court and Discrimination


Thursday, Oct. 23 – Courts and Criminal Defendants’ Rights.        


            Readings: Hollow Hope: Chap. 11; Gideon v. Wainwright, Mapp v. Ohio; Miranda v. Arizona.





Tuesday, Oct. 28 – The New Jim Crow.


Readings: Michelle Alexander speech; McCleskey v. Kemp; Whren v. U.S. – Law Review Note


Thursday, Oct. 30 – Gay Rights, Gay Marriage.


            Readings:  Hollow Hope chaps 12 -14; Bowers v. Hardwick; Romer v. Evans;

Lawrence v. Texas; California Proposition 8.


Tuesday, Nov. 4 –

            Readings: Perry v. Schwartzenegger; United States v. Windsor, Excerpt from two 2014 cases.


Thursday, Nov. 6 – Was Roe v. Wade good for women?


Readings: Hollow Hope: Chaps 6-9; Roe v. Wade; Supreme Court Argument of Sarah Weddington; Casey v. Planned Parenthood;


Tuesday, Nov. 11 –

Readings: Carhart v. Gonzales; “The Feminist Case Against Abortion.”

Serrin Foster; Robert Post and Reva Siegel, “Roe Rage: Democratic Constitutionalism and Backlash.”


Thursday, Nov. 13 – Group 1 & 2 debate on Effectiveness of Warren Court Criminal Procedure reforms.


Tuesday, Nov. 18– Group 3 & 4 debate on Effectiveness of Gay Marriage litigation.


Thursday, Nov. 20 – Group 5 debate on Effectiveness of Gay Marriage litigation; Group 6 debate whether Roe v. Wade hurt Feminism.


Tuesday, November 25 – Group 7 & 8 debates on whether Roe v. Wade hurt Feminism.


Thursday, November 27 – Thanksgiving break


Tuesday, Dec. 2 – Individual Meetings on Final Paper.


Thursday, Dec. 4 – Individual Meetings on Final Paper.


Final – Saturday, Dec. 13, 12:00 – Final Papers Due.