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Monday, November 29, 2010

Federalism Seminar

I (with the help of my research assistant) am in the process of creating a proposal for a 2-credit “Federalism Seminar.”  I plan to spend the first 2-3 classes on Vertical Federalism, and then spend each of the remaining class sessions on a “hot” topic that raises significant federalism issues.  The goal would be to understand the way in which regulatory efforts at the federal, state and local level interact in a variety of substantive contexts. 

My tentative wish list of topics includes:  Medical Marijuana; Same-Sex Marriage; Climate Change; Health Care Reform; Immigration Federalism; Regulation of Convicted Sex Offenders; School Finance Reform/Education Policy; and Regulation of Religious Land Uses. 

For each topic I would compile (a) the relevant federal constitutional provision, statute or regulation; (b) a sampling of state/local regulations; (c) a leading case and (d) a secondary source (newspaper article or law review article) to provide context. 

Any suggestions or recommendations for the syllabus (particularly from someone who has put together a similar course) would be greatly appreciated. And, of course, I will be happy to share the syllabus with anyone who is interested once it is complete.   

Posted by Ashira Ostrow on November 29, 2010 at 02:11 PM in Syllabi Project, Teaching Law | Permalink

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Comments

It sounds like a fabulous course! You might consider habeas petitions and the role of the federal courts in scrutinizing state sentencing decisions (see House v. Bell). These type of cases present a less obvious federalism concern, but an important one (especially in a law school setting).

Posted by: MJT | Nov 29, 2010 2:23:13 PM

In that same vein, you might want to consider some of the abstention doctrines especially Younger.

Posted by: Matthew | Nov 29, 2010 5:21:37 PM

How about the federalization of punitive damages, where the line up of the justices is so interesting?

Posted by: David Levine | Nov 30, 2010 1:28:15 AM

I'll add another one to my earlier recommendation: the California prisons case that's being heard by the Supreme Court today.

Posted by: MJT | Nov 30, 2010 9:55:48 AM

I took a fantastic federalism seminar from Ernie Young while he was visiting at Harvard. One of the two or three best courses I had in law school. If he's willing to share his syllabus, I'd recommend you take a look at it.

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 30, 2010 10:15:08 AM

Daniel Halberstam taught and may still teach a Federalism class at Michigan.

Posted by: helping | Nov 30, 2010 1:25:57 PM

Thank you so much for the helpful suggestions, and a special thank you to those of you who sent me syllabi and other material off-line. This is my last day guest blogging, but feel free to continue to send me stuff directly - ashira.ostrow@hofstra.edu.

Posted by: Ashira Ostrow | Nov 30, 2010 1:47:19 PM

Ashira, you might want to check in with my ND colleague, AJ Bellia, who does the course (and has a casebook in the works).

Posted by: Rick Garnett | Nov 30, 2010 3:55:15 PM

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