Curriculum Guide · Courses
The Constitutional Family: Rights, Responsibilities, and Family Relationships
Professor Jeffrey Shulman
J.D. Seminar 1074 | 3 credit hours
No area of the law arouses more controversy than state regulation of the family. This course studies the law of parent-child relations with a focus on constitutional concerns. What is the source of parental authority? What rights do parents enjoy to direct the upbringing of their children? Do children hold rights of their own? Should they? Should third-parties (e.g., grandparents, teachers, babysitters) be given visitation or custody rights? What is the state’s role with regard to parent-child relations? What is the source and scope of its authority? We will look at how these questions (and many more) have been answered historically (with some surprising discoveries) as well as the current state of the law, and we will consider what kind of future might await the evolving family. The shifting “settlement” of individual, family, and state interests will lead us to a rich universe of topics--the list is constantly growing and changing--and to broader philosophical considerations (questions about the nature of individual and group rights, identity and assimilation, the proper boundaries of civic discourse)—not to mention a host of questions that are intensely personal and problematic.
Students may not receive credit for both this seminar and Religious Liberty and the Contemporary Family Seminar: Legal and Literary Perspectives.
FIRST CLASS ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class.