American Legal History

American Legal History - Professor Michael Blumm

  • Course Number: LAW-586
  • Course Type: Foundational
  • Credits: 3
  • Enrollment Limit: Determined by the Registrar
  • Description: This course focuses on the role of law in the broad sweep of American political and social thought from colonial times to the present. The intersection of law and politics and the role of the courts in a constitutional democracy are central course themes. Subjects include land use controls in the Colonial and Founding generations; politics in the Founding generation; slavery and race in American thought; nineteenth century judicial activism and its relation to today’s Supreme Court; the judicial revolutions of the New Deal and the Warren Court; and a comparison of property, contract, and tort doctrines throughout American history. Modern topics focus on desegregation and affirmative action, privacy and abortion, environmentalism, the new federalism of the Rehnquist/Roberts Courts, and that Court’s role in determining the result of the 2000 presidential election.

  • Prerequisite: none
  • Evaluation Method: Final take-home examination, class participation
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: no