The Course | Course Schedule | Newsgroup
Prof. Patricia Huckle, PhD
Department of Women's Studies
Office: AH 3168
Hours: by appointment
"I think the Constitution is one of the great documents in the world. How
has it survived two hundred years? Because it's not what it was. We ought
to look at the Constitution through its metamorphosis - from a document
that denied the personhood of black people and denied the political reality
of women, to a document that has, in part through war and struggle, come to
encompass them and others."
--------------Eleanor Holmes Norton, p 147 in I Dream a
World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America, B. Lanker. Stewart,
Tabori & Chang, NY, 1989.
RESOLVED, that the women in this country ought to be enlightened in regard
to the laws under which they live, that they may no longer publish their
degradation by declaring themselves satisfied with their present position,
nor their ignorance, by asserting that they have all the rights they want.
--------------Declaration of Sentiments and Resolution, Seneca Falls Convention, 1848.
The purpose of this course is to gain a better understanding of the legal
system and its impact on the lives of women individually and collectively.
Topics include: equal protection, education, employment, family law,
criminal law, reproductive freedom and violence against women.
Students should be able to:
Required Text: Women's Rights in the USA: Policy Debates and Gender
- Understand basic legal vocabulary and the operation of the judicial system
- Trace the evolution of the legal rights of women in the United States
- Think and write critically about historical and contemporary legal issues
which affect women's lives
- Comprehend the connections among law, public policy and social action
Roles, Dorothy McBride Stetson, 2d edition, Garland Publishing, Inc.
Recommended: The Rights of Women, 3d edition, Susan D. Ross
et al, Southern Illinois University Press, 1993.
Course Requirements: (Each will be explained further in class)
Examinations (60% of grade). There will be two, based on text
readings, lectures, films and guest speakers. Each will include multiple
choice, definitions and essay questions. No make up exams permitted
Participation in class (5%). You are expected to come to
class prepared to discuss issues raised in the readings. This section
of your grade will consist of my overall assessment of your level
of preparation and contributions to discussion.
Oral Report on Supreme Court case. (10%) A two-page summary
of a Supreme Court case, presented orally in class according to the
Research on a contemporary legal issue. (25%) You are required
to develop a 3-5 page paper on an issue currently being debated. You
are required to use at least 3 Internet sites, and one reference from
supplementary readings in the text.
No late papers will be accepted without prior discussion with me. In
any case, all materials for the course must be completed no later than
noon on June 18.
WS 370, Summer 1999
Note: Not all cases in each chapter will be discussed.
You are responsible for cases listed in the syllabus, and others
identified in class.
Tues., June 1: Introduction to the course. Discussion
of the legal system and vocabulary, film on the Supreme Court.
Wed., June 2: Historical context. Read Chapter
Cases: Bradwell v Illinois, Minor v Happersett., Muller v Oregon
and Goesart v Cleary. Film: One Woman, One Vote.
Thurs., June 3: Constitutional Rights since 1971.
Read Ch. 2. Cases:
Reed v Reed, Michael M. v Sonoma, Rostker v Goldberg, Frontiero
v Richardson, Craig v Boren,
Friday. June 4: Political Resources. Read: Chapter
Monday, June 7: Review and Exam
Tues. June 8: The Womb Factor. Read Chapter 4.
Cases: Roe v Wade, Planned Parenthood v Casey
Wed. June 9: Education and Title IX. Read Chapter
5 Case: U.S. v Virginia, Gebser v Lago
Thurs. June 10: Work and Pay. Read Ch 7. Cases:
Dothard v Rawlinson, LA v Manhart, Griggs v Duke Power
Fri., June 11: Employment issues continued. Sexual
harassment. Cases: Meritor Savings v Vinson, Harris v Forklift, Burlington
Industris v Ellerth, Faragher v City of Boca Raton, Oncale v Sundowner
Mon., June 14: Review and Exam #2 on Ch 4, 5, 7
Tues., June 15: Family Law. Read: Chapter 6 and
chapter 10. Discuss:
Divorce and Child Custody, and Family Medical Leave Act of 1993
and the "feminization of poverty.
Wed. June 16: Work and Family. Read Chapter 8
Thurs, June 17: Sexuality. Read Chapter 9
Fri. June 18: Final papers are due no later than
WS 370 Newsgroup
The WS370 Newsgroup is a forum where you can discuss topics related
to Women and the Law.
for Subscribing to the Newsgroup
Now, after familiarizing yourself with the steps found on the
Instructions Page above, click here:WS