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Civil Rights (LAWS 5711)

Course Info

This course will examine the enforcement of federal civil rights against the government, government officials, and private individuals. The course will focus partly on the unique issues and challenges involved in litigating civil rights cases, and approximately the first half of the semester will be spent on 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the "all-purpose" civil rights statute. We will discuss the mechanics of litigating federal civil rights cases, such as the state action requirement, absolute and qualified immunities, liability of municipalities, limitations on injunctive relief, and attorney's fees. Much of the second half of the semester will be devoted to other civil rights statutes, such as the Fair Housing Act, the Voting Rights Act, Title IX, and Title VI. The course will not cover statutes dealing with discrimination in the workplace, however, as those topics are treated fully in the Employment Discrimination course.


Prof. Atiba Ellis

Prof. Atiba Ellis is the Laura B. Chisolm Distinguished Research Scholar and Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. A nationally noted voting rights scholar, his primary research focuses on how racial and class-based oppression interact continues to abridge and deny the right to vote to communities on the margins of American democracy.


The syllabus for your course is available on Canvas.


Study Aids

These study aids are available online.  Please click the hyperlinked title to view them. For instructions on how to use the specific platforms, including troubleshooting, please view Andy Dorchak's Study Aids Research Guide.


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Quimbee Civil Rights materials