350.01 Advanced Constitutional Law: A Legal History of the US Civil Rights Movement

This course will examine the role of the U.S. civil rights movement in the development of U.S. constitutional law. Conventional theories of judicial independence do not define a legitimate role for social movements in the transformation of U.S. constitutional law, but recent advances in legal scholarship have underscored the co-constitutive relationship between law and social movements.  Accordingly, this course will explore how movement participants engaged the U.S. Constitution and how these encounters shaped constitutional doctrine, social institutions, public discourse, and movement participants themselves. We will investigate the processes of mobilization and counter-mobilization and reflect on how the U.S. civil rights movement often spurred constitutional change through means other than constitutionally specified procedures. We will also consider how and why movements fail and will critically analyze rights-based approaches to reform. Course readings will draw from a wide range of historical, sociological, and legal sources.

Fall 2021

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Final Exam
Class participation
H. Timothy Lovelace, Jr.
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.350.01.F21
Email list: LAW.350.01.F21@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM
Course Requirements - Public Interest
Course Areas of Practice