PUBPOL 750.508: Topics: Courts as Policy-Makers: Social Justice Issues

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Winter 2017
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This course adopts the premise that judicial decisions and the legal strategies involved in those cases create a dynamic interaction between courts, legislatures, communities, legal advocacy groups, and the media. That interaction shapes how we think about equality, liberty, rights and justice, empowers or disempowers affected communities, and affects how we define and think about social justice issues. That interaction also affects the forums in which policy issues coalesce --state or federal courts or legislatures or the court of public opinion. We will look at several issues, likely reform efforts to improve public education, LGBT rights, and the Flint water crisis. Some familiarity with the court system is helpful. There will be several guest speakers, small group discussions, and two papers.

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