SMNR: Constitutional Aspects of the American Welfare State
Semester: Spring 2008
Class Unique: 29135
Course ID: 397S
Credit Hours: 3
This seminar will examine several constitutional issues linked with the implementation of the modern welfare state. These include whether there is a duty of the state to provide any welfare assistance at all, or whether such decisions to initiate programs in the first place are entirely discreationary; due process constraints on the administration of wefare programs-- where "welfare" is defined simply as the supply by the state of goods at below- market cost, so the University of Texas Law School itself will serve as a fine example of a welfare program; and, perhaps most importantly, the ability of the state to place conditions on the receipt of its funds. We will also look at some specific issues involving the interplay of religion and the modern welfare state. The first nine weeks or so of the seminar will be spent reading some key cases and, just as importantly, some classic law review articles examining the issues under discussion. The last four weeks or so will be spent on student papers.