Civil Rights Seminar

Course Number: 579B

Description: (Formerly DCL 317) The vast majority of civil rights claims are brought either under ยง 1983 (violations by state actors) or through Bivens actions (violations by federal actors). Indeed, these claims account for approximately 25% of the cases pending on federal court dockets. Federal courts have developed a bewildering array of procedural hurdles under these relatively straightforward provisions, and in this seminar we will examine those procedures, looking both at the procedures themselves and at the philosophies they reflect. Students' grades will be based on class participation, a paper and a project. Students will have their choice of paper topics (subject to professors approval), but the project topic will involve a motion and brief for summary judgment and will be assigned by the professor.