Election Law (PROJECT-BASED PRACTICUM)
J. Gerald Hebert and
J.D. Practicum 1182
| 4 credit hours
In a project-based practicum course, students participate in a weekly seminar and work on a project under the supervision of their professors. This project-based practicum course will focus on election law. Students will participate in a two hour/week seminar and carry out 10 hours/week of project work under the direction of the course professors.
SEMINAR: The seminar portion of this course will involve a review of the case law primarily in the area of voting rights, and will include some review of campaign finance regulation as well. In the area of voting rights, the course will examine the state of voting rights law in the wake of the Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder. The course will also cover redistricting cases and the legality of voter ID laws and other laws that have been enacted in recent years that affect the right to vote. Students will be assigned writing assignments that include: drafting complaints for federal lawsuits alleging violations of the Voting Rights Act and/or the United States Constitution; preparation of briefs in pending voting rights cases; and drafting other legal documents in active lawsuits. In the area of campaign finance law, the focus will be on the law governing the disclosure of funds contributed or spent to influence elections. A number of regulations promulgated by the Federal Election Commission govern when independent groups must register as federal political committees and comply with the applicable restrictions and disclosures under FECA. Cases challenging these regulations as violative of the First Amendment have proliferated in the post-Citizens United world. There have also been recent cases challenging the restrictions on corporate contributions to candidates on grounds that the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United rendered the federal restriction on corporate contributions unconstitutional. This practicum course will give students the opportunity, among other things, to explore and weigh the governmental interests involved in the laws requiring disclosure of election spending and limitations imposed on contributions.
PROJECT WORK: Students in this practicum will have the opportunity to draft legal papers and briefs in election law cases. Cases will be selected from those pending at the time, but all will involve a wide range of election law issues raising important questions of constitutional and statutory interpretation.
Prerequisite: Constitutional Law I: The Federal System or completion of Curriculum B courses. J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).
Recommended: Prior enrollment in Constitutional Law II.
Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship. Students may not receive credit for this practicum and The Constitution and Democracy in the 21st Century Seminar.
This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email Louis Fine (firstname.lastname@example.org) to request admission.
This practicum course is suitable for evening students who can attend seminar and participate in 10 hours/week of project work.
This is a four-credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.
Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.
Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.
||Room / Days / From-To
(CRN #: 27622)
||Smith, Paul M. /
Hebert, J. Gerald