Understanding Civil Rights Litigation

Third Edition

by Howard M. Wasserman

Tags: Civil Rights/Race and the Law, Law School Study Aids, Litigation, Practitioner Resources, Understanding Series

Table of Contents (PDF)

456 pp  $55.00

ISBN 978-1-5310-2234-1
eISBN 978-1-5310-1117-8

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This student-focused treatise provides a concise, accessible, comprehensive, and readable overview of the doctrine, policy, history, and theory of civil rights and constitutional litigation under Section 1983 and its Bivens federal counterpart. The book works for dedicated civil rights courses and larger federal courts classes; it can function as a primary assignment, as an assigned or recommended case and statutory supplement to a casebook or case materials, and as a supplemental study guide for students wanting additional background, context, and synthesis of the material.

The third edition:

  • Covers all aspects of civil rights and constitutional litigation, including the history of civil rights legislation in the United States; the substantive elements of Section 1983 and Bivens causes of action; individual immunity defenses; governmental liability and immunity; procedural and jurisdictional hurdles; abstention; and remedies.
  • Explores the doctrinal areas that have undergone substantial changes or challenges since the prior edition, including the retraction of Bivens; the extension, criticism, and cross-ideological calls for reform of qualified immunity; the narrowing of abstention; debates over the scope of injunctive relief; and the Supreme Court's increasing engagement earlier in constitutional cases.
  • Explores new applications of long-standing doctrines, including controversies over when social-media companies and public officials act under color of state law in controlling who has access to sites and pages.
  • Adds new and expanded "Puzzles" for most topics within the book. These short problems, drawn from news stories, lawsuits, and lower-court decisions, challenge students to work through and apply the doctrine. The book can serve as a primary source for a problem-centered civil rights courses.
  • Includes appendices containing the United States Constitution, Emancipation Proclamation, and selected substantive, jurisdictional, and procedural federal statutes and rules that govern in civil rights and constitutional litigation.

Comp Copy If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.