Monday, July 16, 2018


As indicated on the Syllabus, there will be panels of 2-3 people for each of the ten topics in the class. You will be on panel for multiple topics; you will write your reaction papers on any two (2) of the topics on which you are panelist.

The first panel will be up beginning the second day of class. Panels will be assigned once we see the final enrollment in the class.

The topic are tied to the major topics in the Syllabus:

Under Color/State Action

Rights, Privileges and Immunities

Claims Against Federal Officials

Individual Immunities

Municipal Liability/Supervisory Liability

State Sovereign Immunity


Introduction to Abstention/Pullman/Statutory Abstention

Younger Abstention/Rooker-Feldman


Welcome to Civil Rights

Welcome to Civil Rights and the FIU Civil Rights Blog. There are two posts that you must read and follow prior to our first class meeting on Tuesday, August 14.

To read the blog, go to; posts can be read going down from most recent to least recent. To post to the blog, go to; you can log-in with a username and password. For complete information on the purposes and uses of the blog, see the Syllabus.

To be able to post, you must register as an author and a reader. To register as an author, please send an e-mail to me ( In the subject line, type “Civil Rights Blog Registration;” in the body of the e-mail, please type your name and your e-mail address. You then will receive an e-mail “Invitation” inviting you to join as an author on the blog. You must follow the steps outlined in the invitation e-mail to register (under your full name, no handles or usernames) as an author. Please register under your full (first and last) name. Please do this at the beginning of the semester, as soon as you receive the invitation.

Once you have registered, take a few minutes to explore how to write a post. Note that you can put up photographs and video. You also can put web links in the text by highlighting the text you want to use for the hyperlink and clicking the "Link" button.

Course Materials and First Week Assignments

Download and read the Syllabus (or at right) for complete details about the course, assignments, pedagogical approach, course rules, and grading methods. You should bring the Syllabus with you to every class. Review the Course Assignment Information (or at right) for details on your graded written and oral projects; we will discuss this at the beginning of the second class, on Thursday.

Technology and Class Conduct: 
• Use of laptops is prohibited.
  • You must be in class on time, unless I have previously given you permission to come late. You may not enter the room once class has begun, unless I have given you permission to come late. Once class has begun, you must remain in your seat, unless I have given you permission to leave during class. In all cases, permission will be freely given when appropriate.

Panels: Details in the Syllabus. Panel I will be up when we begin discussing Elements of a Claim in the second class.

Required Course Materials: 
Howard M. Wasserman, Understanding Civil Rights Litigation (Carolina Academic Press) (2d ed. 2018)
     Appendix A: Constitution of the United States
     Appendix C: United States Code and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (selected provisions)

Assignments for the first day of class, Tuesday, January 9:

Introduction/Historical Context                   Understanding Ch. 1
      U.S. Const. amend. XIII, XIV

Elements of Civil Rights Claims
Introduction                                                 Understanding § 2.01

 “Under Color of Law” and State Action Understanding §§ 2.02, 2.03[1], 2.03 [2]
      42 U.S.C. § 1983
      18 U.S.C. § 242
      Monroe v. Pape, 365 U.S. 167 (1961)