Democracy and Law
Of the permanent law school faculty, the following professors have a particular interest in law and democracy: Professors John Ferejohn, Rick Hills, Sam Issacharoff, Burt Neuborne, Rick Pildes, and Jeremy Waldron. This interest surfaces both in what they write and in what they teach.
There are an increasing number of courses and seminars in the Law School that address the topic of democracy directly or indirectly. In a way, Constitutional Law is all about constituting a democracy, structuring its operations, nourishing the ideas of political equality and participation that underpin it, and securing substantive, procedural, and structural safeguards to ensure that people are protected against various forms of exclusion, disenfranchisement and politically-inflicted harm. Also, theoretical discussions in Constitutional Law often address issues about the legitimacy of judicial review of democratically enacted legislation.
More specifically, there are courses and seminars on the law relating to voting, elections, and districting—the most important of these is the course on “The Law of Democracy”—as well as more abstract and philosophical courses on the theory of democracy and the principles, values, and practices that it embodies.
In the latter category, some courses—such as “Positive Political Theory”—deal with descriptive and rational-choice theory, while others—such as “Democratic Theory”—have a more normative orientation. Also some are directly focused on issues of democracy, while others focus on other issues that presuppose or implicate some of our interests in democratic theory.
Besides the basic course on Constitutional Law, our offerings in the area of law and democracy fall into the following categories:
The Separation of Powers (seminar)
War, the President and the Constitution (course)
Federalism: Law, Policy and History (seminar)
The Supreme Court (seminar)
Current Constitutional Issues
LAW RELATING TO ELECTIONS, ETC.
The Law of Democracy (course)
Groups, Diversity, and the Law (seminar)
THE THEORY OF DEMOCRACY
(a) Courses addressing general issues of political philosophy and political theory
Introduction to Moral and Political Philosophy (course)
Legal Theory Thesis (seminar)
Positive Political Theory (course)
State, Law, and Politics (seminar)
(b) Courses specifically on democracy
Democratic Theory (seminar)
Political Environment of the Law (seminar)
War and Democracy (seminar)
(c) Courses that implicate or presuppose interest in democratic theory
The Rule of Law (course)
First Amendment: Rights of Expression and Association
Resisting Injustice (seminar)
Immigration Law and the Rights of Non-citizens
Law and Development
NYU Law is famous for its colloquia and several of these are devoted , at least indirectly, to discussion of issues in and around democracy.
Colloquium in Legal, Political and Social Philosophy (colloquium and seminar)
Colloquium on Constitutional Theory (colloquium)
Colloquium on Law, Economics, and Politics
Colloquium on Comparative Constitutional Democracy