Click here for Final Exam link


For a copy of the Syllabus in PDF click here: click me

Introduction to the Course

In class I will utilize the socratic method. This will involve calling on students to answer questions in a dialogue with me about the Course Reader: Law and Identity. These interactions will be graded as pass fail and will be worth 20 points.

My Expectations

36 Course Meeting Hours

3 Additional Hours of “home” work each week.

Every student will need to buy a dictionary or have one readily available in class on their phone or digital device.


Extra Credit: Constitution Analysis Template: Click here for Google Doc


Introduction to the Course Reader

The Introduction and Section 1 will be used as a general introduction to our study. In addition to the reader you will need to be familiar with:

1. Youtube Channel with additional resources and explanations.

2. United States Constitution: Click here

3. New York State Constittution: Click here

4. Legal Information Institute : click here

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement using our Course Reader

Click here for additional resources that supplement the Reader

Our Course Reader, Law and Identity, is broken up into 6 Sections:


Section 1: Civic Identity

Section 2 Civic Agency

Section 3 Civic Advocacy – Critical Modern Problems

Section 4 Civic Advocacy – Community Research


Major Assignments

Final Project: The final project will be worked on in pieces and the final product will be due at the end of the semester. This will include a summary and a reflection. This should be between three and five pages.

Midterm and Final Exam: The Final Exam will cover all 6 sections of the Reader. The midterm will cover up to Planned Parenthood v. Casey.


Meeting 1: Getting to Know Each Other Google Form Diagnostic: click here

Meeting 2: Diagnostic Discussion: What is Injustice? How can a Society be Organized to reduce injustice? How can we better understand Law through a study of concepts of social relations, community, difference, inclusion/exclusion, politics and power?

Consider this resource for early constitutional history in North America and England: click here

Meeting 3: An Investigation – definitions – Constitutions 

Meeting 4: Originalism the Lesser Evil

Meeting 5: Democracy is not a spectator sport

Please confirm your attendance by clicking here ; Failure to confirm attendance will result in Administrative Withdrawl

Meeting 6: Lecture: Interpreting the Constitution: See a Video Lecture  –click here

Meeting 7: I am Tired of Being Labelled, Miller v. California and Robert Mapplethorpe

Meeting 8: Review : What is Injustice? Inclusion/Exclusion

Meeting 9: Scott v. Sandford In Reflection

Meeting 10: Read Reflection Statement Aloud (5 points)

Meeting 11: Writing your Inquiry Question for Your Final Project (10 points)

If you missed this class please fill out the form here: click me

Click here for a helpful guide to develop your research inquiry question

If you want specific feedback from me about your inquiry question fill out this form: click me

Week of October 14th

Meeting 12: Read Clash of the Civilizations

Thursday Meeting 13: Meet or Talk with your research groups: Research one of the Civilizations that Huntington Identified: Western, Confucian, Japanese, Islamic, Hindu, Slavic-Orthodox, Latin American, African

Click here for 10:20 Research Group Sign Up Sheet

Click here for 11:30 Research Group Sign Up Sheeet


Meeting 14: Lecturing: Huntington as Problematic- the 1/2 in the +1 -1 World of Populism

Meeting 15: Share Civilization Report (20 points)

Meeting 16: Read Quest for Legal Sovereignty

Meeting 17: Lecture: Liberalism/Illiberalsim and the Quasi Subject

Meeting 18: Review; Extra Credit (20 POINTS): Event and One Page Reflection – How does the Speaker exercise her agency based on her civic identity?

The Path to a Life in Politics: Meet Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz

Wednesday, October 30th



All are welcome to learn about the path to a life in politics. Catalina Cruz was elected to serve the residents of the New York State Assembly’s 39th District. Assemblywoman Cruz has the privilege of representing one of the most diverse districts in the nation, which encompasses the neighborhoods of Corona, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.

Catalina was born in Colombia and came to Queens at the age of 9. Catalina grew up as a DREAMer; she lived in the United States for more than 10 years as an undocumented American. Catalina was raised by a single mother, who like many immigrants had to work multiple and menial jobs to provide for her family. As a single mother of four children, she worked long hours during the week as a nanny, cleaned offices at night, and sold tamales and empanadas at the soccer fields on the weekends. Inspired by her mother’s perseverance, Catalina has committed her career to fighting for our community and to ensure our workers, neighbors and families not only survive, but thrive.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a Juris Doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.

Sponsored in partnership with the Office of Communications & Government Relations and the Career and Transfer Center.

Meeting 19: Choose Reading Group for Group Presentation on Reading on Injustice: Race (57-65), Gender (66-78), Liberalism (79-102), Economic (46-55 & 111-120)

Meeting 20: Group Time

Meeting 21: Group Time

Meeting 22: Group Presentation on Reading with One Sheet (20 points)

Meeting 23: Midterm Prep by clicking here

Meeting 24: CLICK HERE for Midterm Exam online (25) points, This will be open all day today

open book will be available on Wednesday and will close Thursday morning. The in person version is worth up to 60 points from 10:20 – 11:20 Wednesday in D-217. 

Meeting 25: Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Roundtables see page 46 and bring an outline or a rough draft of your final project for review (20 points)

Meeting 26:Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Roundtables see page 46 (late printed draft 5 points).

Meeting 27: Revisiting the Purpose of Constitutions

Meeting 28: Marbury v. Madison Read Aloud

Meeting 29: Lecture – Divided Justice

Meeting 30: Extra Credit Read Aloud (Performative) If the War Goes On (20 points)

Meeting 31: Audio Online: Guest Lecture-Looking for Palestine: In Reflection

Meeting 32: Discussion

Meeting 33: Discussion War and Politics: In Those Years: Youtube,

Meeting 34: Read Federalist Paper Number 47

Meeting 35: Lecture-Reviewing Race – Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Plessy v. Ferguson, Scott v. Sandford, Power of Self-Definition, Brown v. Board

Meeting 36: