Curriculum

Terrorism and Civil Liberties Seminar

Credits: 2.00
Faculty: Susan Herman

Prerequisite: Constitutional Law.

This seminar will examine constitutional and other legal issues arising out of the war on terrorism, such as the constitutionality of executive detention of citizen and non-citizen "enemy combatants" in the territorial United States and in Guantanamo, of military tribunals, of secret de portation hearings, of new surveillance provisions of the USA Patriot Act, and of the targeting of Muslim and Arab men for interrogation, detention for violation of immigration laws, and special airport security. Depending on the particular interests of participating students, we may also discuss issues centering on international law (Is the "war on terror" an actual or a metaphorical war? What does it mean to be an "illegal combatant?" What applicability do the Geneva Convent ions have to the Guantanamo detainees?); prin ciples of federalism (How far can the federal government go in enlisting state and local law enforcement officials in their investigations, or their enforcement of immigration laws?); the First Amendment (What has been the impact of the war on terror on dissent? What have been the role and responsibilities of the media?); and history (How do current events compare to American reactions to past crises, including times of war, such as the detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II? Have we as a country engaged in a process of social learning, or are we repeating past actions later considered to be mistakes?). This course is designed for students who have been watching these current events unfold and would like to develop a fuller knowledge of what is happening, what is controversial, and what the constitutional provisions, statutes, and cases involved actually say.

Grading and Method of Evaluation

Letter grade with pass/fail option. Final exam or paper which may be used to satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement.