Law and Political Emergency
Listed in: Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought, as LJST-04
Nasser Hussain (Section 01)
This course introduces students to one of the more sustained problems in jurisprudence and legal theory: what happens to a constitutional order when it is faced with extraordinary conditions such as rebellion, war and terrorism. While it is generally agreed that rules, rights and procedures may be temporarily suspended, it is less clear which rights, and who decides on the suspension (the executive alone or in some combination with the legislature, with or without oversight by the courts). While these questions have now become familiar to us-and this course will guide students through the policy shifts and court battles in the United States since 9/11, from the issue of enemy combatants to the use of Guantanamo Bay as a detention center-we will take a more theoretical and historical approach to these questions. Thus we will look at the earliest use of some emergency techniques by the British in the colonies, Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War and the notorious Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, which has often been blamed for facilitating the rise of the Nazis. We will end by examining alternative methods for contending with emergency. Requisite: LJST 01 or 10 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 15 students. Second semester. Professor Hussain.