State Constitutional Law

Course Number: 579Z

Description: All lawyers take an oath to uphold the United States Constitution and the constitution of their state. While law students take one or more courses to study the former, rarely do they graduate with any exposure to state constitutional law. This fact is odd given our dual system of government with two sets of sovereigns. But it also leaves law students less prepared to represent their clients, especially since protections afforded under state constitutions are often more generous than their federal counterparts. This class will provide an overview of state constitutional law, across the fifty states and with attention to shared features. Specific issues will include: the interrelation of the state and federal constitutions; provisions protecting individual rights; school funding litigation; and the organization of state governments.