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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Sex, Gender and the Law (Fall 2019)

  • Course Number: LAW-757
  • Class Number: 03454
  • Instructor: David B. Cruz

Course Description

This seminar will explore questions of law’s response to questions of sex discrimination and gender identity and expression, with an emphasis upon legal issues facing transgender persons; circumstances of intersex persons will also be considered. Employment discrimination (especially Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, up before the Supreme Court in its October 2019 term), family law, birth certificates and other identity documents, incarceration, the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender persons, and restroom access in schools and at work will provide some of the factual setting in which these issues will be engaged; some of these topics will include material comparing the law in other countries.  There will be a required textbook, as well as course materials to be made available through Blackboard and/or the copy center. Students will write questions for discussion each week and a minimum 20-page double-spaced research paper on a topic pertaining to sex or gender and the law (understood broadly) worked out with the professor (with intermediate steps including a first draft required).  Course participation is required and a factor in your final grade. There will be no final examination. The course may be taken CR/D/F. Any student satisfactorily passing the class (with a grade higher than a D) will satisfy the upper division writing requirement (you must complete the form and get professor’s signature). This seminar may be taken by students writing Notes, which may be on a broad range of topics (ultimately requiring approval by the instructor) relating to sex, gender, and law, though intersex and transgender legal topics are encouraged.  It is recommended that JD students already have taken Constitutional Law: Rights or be taking it simultaneously with this seminar, but this is not a formal requirement.  LLM students who are interested in taking Sex, Gender, and Law should enroll in LLM Constitutional Law in advance of, or concurrent with, this course.

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 2
  • Grading Options: Numerical or CR/D/F
  • Exam: Paper
  • Writing Requirement: Yes with submission of the Upper Division Writing Requirement Form.
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: no
  • Pre-requisites: Is is recommended that JD students already have taken Constitutional Law: Rights or be taking it simultaneously with this seminar, but this is not a formal requirement.