The course will take up four major topics:
(i) Justiciability, including standing, mootness, ripeness, and political questions.
(ii) Statutory jurisdiction, including issues of congressional control.
(iii) Immunity, including sovereign immunity and qualified immunity.
(iv) Habeas Corpus, including post-conviction and Guantánamo cases.
These topics are broadly relevant for litigation but have special import for certain types of practice. Most obviously, the above material is important for federal constitutional litigation, which paradigmatically involves civil rights but also frequently features business interests. On the defense side, many government attorneys deploy material covered early in the class to defeat various types of litigation. And much of the material is critically relevant for criminal, post-conviction, and prison work. The course also addresses a number of procedural issues that pertain to almost any form of legal practice, such as the force of precedent and rules pertaining to issue preservation.