Curriculum Guide · Courses
Employment Discrimination: Supreme Court Jurisprudence (formerly: Advanced Employment Discrimination: Supreme Court Jurisprudence)
Professors Vail and Lopez
LL.M Course 812 (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours
The U.S. Supreme Court plays a singular role in molding employment-discrimination doctrine under the four main federal statutes in this area (The Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990). The Court has shaped and reshaped employment-discrimination jurisprudence in fits and starts, in seismic and sometimes surprising ways. A few of its rulings have been quite controversial, stoking pre-existing public divisions on matters of race and sex. Many cases also have provoked Congressional responses to reign in perceived judicial activism. Through it all, the Court has been ambivalent about the philosophical underpinnings and the appropriate reach and scope of anti-discrimination law. This course explores the Court's ongoing struggle with how (and even whether) to use this law to help secure economic and social justice. The final exam requires students to draft their own Supreme Court majority and dissenting opinions on an employment-related topic the Court itself has not yet resolved.
Recommended: An introductory Employment Law or Employment Discrimination law course.