Constitutional Rights and Remedies
The Constitutional Rights and Remedies Program allows you to focus on the nature, scope, viability, and limits of litigating federal constitutional rights through traditional classes, simulation courses, conferences, public lectures, and pro bono litigation. You will develop a sophisticated understanding of the interaction between state and federal courts, are able to determine the available and appropriate vehicles for constitutional litigation, develop an increased understanding of the content of our constitutional protections, and may increase their likelihood of obtaining a federal clerkship and a career in constitutional litigation. Follow us online: @DUsturmCRRP.
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Learning to litigate federal constitutional rights—in and out of the classroom
Through the program, you will develop a sophisticated understanding of the interaction between state and federal courts, determine the available and appropriate vehicles for constitutional litigation, develop an increased understanding of the content of our constitutional protections, and may increase your likelihood of obtaining a federal clerkship and a career in constitutional litigation.
What are Constitutional rights and remedies?
Disputes over the scope and substance of federal constitutional rights have been central to racial justice, education, housing, voting, employment, reproductive rights, land use, law enforcement and criminal justice, and numerous other areas of profound social importance. The important rights developed in each of these areas, however, are not always enforceable. The law of constitutional remedies includes numerous procedural hurdles that significantly limit the opportunities for injured parties to receive a full hearing of their constitutional claims, much less a favorable one. An understanding of the procedures that govern the litigation of federal constitutional rights has thus become essential to the process of constitutional enforcement.
The Constitutional rights and remedies program at the Sturm College of Law is an academic program that allows students to focus on the nature, scope, viability, and limits of litigating federal constitutional rights through traditional classes, simulation courses, conferences, public lectures, and pro bono litigation. Our proximity to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, as well as the regional offices of multiple federal agencies, is another draw for our Constitutional rights and remedies students. The program offers a full array of doctrinal courses as well as experiential learning opportunities in the Civil Rights Clinic, the Criminal Defense Clinic, and Externships, taught by full-time faculty and by adjunct professors drawn from the community of local practitioners.
The program is staffed by our full-time faculty, but draws on a rich background of resources offered by both a local and national advisory board. Our experienced faculty actively research, publish, lecture, litigate and work on other activities involving constitutional rights and remedies. In addition, many of our professors spent their pre-teaching careers clerking for federal judges and engaging in litigation of constitutional rights claims.
Recent CRRP Events
- September 26, 2023: The CRRP held a 2023-2024 Supreme Court Preview featuring faculty speakers including professors Nancy Leong, Ian Farrell, Sam Kamin, Marty Katz and Laurent Sacharoff. The preview covered cases related to constitutional rights and remedies that the court will be hearing this term.
- March 28, 2023: Constitutional Law Conversations, cosponsored with the Denver Law ACLU chapter, featuring Professors Laura Rovner, Alan Chen, Marty Katz, Laurent Sacharoff, Viva Moffat, Justin Marceau and Nancy Leong. Each gave a 5 minute overview of their CRR certificate class.
- November 10, 2022: A Discussion with Professor Paul Gowder about his book, "The Rule of Law in the United States: An Unfinished Project of Black Liberation." Moderated by Professor Rebecca Aviel. Co-Sponsored by the Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship and the Denver Law Review.
- August 31, 2022: How to Publish Your Seminar Paper, featuring Professors Marty Katz and Nancy Leong
- April 5, 2022: Certificate Program Advising Session
- March 4, 2022: Panel Discussion: Nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court, featuring Professors Rebecca Aviel, Alan Chen and Ian Farrell. Moderated by Professor Nancy Leong
JD Certificate Program Goals
The Constitutional rights & remedies JD certificate program, helps you
- Possess a thorough understanding of the substantive law defining constitutional rights
- Understand and appreciate the importance of procedures governing their enforcement
- Develop the lawyering skills necessary to effectively litigate these rights
- Gain knowledge and appreciation of professional values and ethics that apply to litigation in this area of the law
Constitutional Rights and Remedies Courses
Constitutional Rights and Remedies Selected Electives
CRRP Faculty Publications
View selected journal articles, books and other scholarship from our expert faculty members.
Professor Rebecca Aviel
Remedial Commandeering, 54 U.C. Davis Law Review 1999 (2021).
Rule 8.4(g) and the First Amendment: Distinguishing between Discrimination and Free Speech, 31 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 31 (2018).
Counsel for the Divorce, 55 Boston College Law Review 1099 (2014).
Why Civil Gideon Won’t Fix Family Law, 122 Yale Law Journal 2106 (2013).
Professor Alan Chen
Free Speech Beyond Words, co-authored with Mark Tushnet and Joseph Blocher, New York University Press (2017).
Free Speech and Democracy in the Video Age, co-authored with Justin Marceau, 116 Columbia Law Review 991 (2016).
High Value Lies, Ugly Truths, and the First Amendment, co-authored with Justin Marceau, 69 Vanderbilt Law Review 1435 (2015).
Rights Lawyer Essentialism: Reflections on Richard Thompson Ford’s Rights Gone Wrong, 111 Michigan Law Review 903 (2013).
- Professor Ian Farrell
Professor Sam Kamin
Investigative Criminal Procedure: A Contemporary Approach, Third Edition, co-authored with Ricardo Bascuas, Thomson Reuters Publishing (2019).
Cases and Materials on the Death Penalty, Fourth Edition, co-authored with Nina Rivkind, Steven Shatz, and Justin Marceau, Thomson Reuters Publishing (2016).
Cooperative Federalism and Marijuana Regulation, co-authored with Erwin Chemerinsky, Jolene Forman, and Allen Hopper, UCLA Law Review (2015).
Harmless Error and the Rights/Remedies Split, 88 Virginia Law Review 1 (2002).
Professor Martin Katz
Guantanamo, Boumediene, and Jurisdiction-Stripping: The Imperial President Meets the Imperial Court, 25 Constitutional Commentary 377 (2009).
The Economics of Discrimination: The Three Fallacies of Croson, 100 Yale Law Journal 1033 (1991).
The Fundamental Incoherence of Title VII: Making Sense of Causation in Disparate Treatment Law, 94 Georgetown Law Journal 489 (2006).
A Rosetta Stone for Causation, 127 Yale Law Journal Forum 877 (2018).
Professor Jan Laitos
Liberty and the Regulatory State: Rethinking Private Property, Regulatory Power and Reviewing Courts, Edward Elgar Publishing (forthcoming 2025).
Law of Property Rights Protection: Limitations on Governmental Powers, Third Edition, Wolters Kluwer (2022).
The Strange Career of Private Takings of Private Property for Private Use, 5 William & Mary Property Rights Journal 125 (2016).
- Professor Nancy Leong
Professor Justin Marceau
Whom the State Kills, co-authored with Scott Phillips, 55 Harvard Civil Rights – Civil Liberties Law Review 585 (2020).
Free Speech and Democracy in the Video Age, co-authored with Alan Chen, 116 Columbia Law Review 991 (2016).
Is Guilt Dispositive? Federal Habeas After Martinez, 55 William & Mary Law Review 2071 (2014).
Gideon’s Shadow, 122 Yale Law Journal 2482 (2013).
Professor Laura Rovner
Preferring Order to Justice, co-authored with Jeanne Theoharis, 61 American University Law Review 1331 (2012).
On Litigating Constitutional Challenges to the Federal Supermax: Improving Conditions and Shining a Light, 95 Denver Law Review 457 (2018).
The Law of Solitary Confinement, Hell is a Very Small Place: Voices from Solitary Confinement, co-authored with Jean Casella, James Ridgeway, and Sarah Shourd, The New Press (201
Professor Laurent Sacharoff
The Broken Fourth Amendment Oath, 74 Stanford Law Review 603 (2022).
Criminal Trespass and Computer Crime, 62 William & Mary Law Review 571 (2020).
Unlocking the Fifth Amendment: Passwords and Encrypted Devices, 87 Fordham Law Review 203 (2018).
Former Presidents and Executive Privilege, 88 Texas Law Review 301 (2009).
Professor Lindsey Webb
Legal Consciousness as Race Consciousness: Expansion of the Fourth Amendment Seizure Analysis Through Objective Knowledge of Police Impunity, 48 Seton Hall Law Review 403 (2018).
The Immortal Accusation, 90 Washington Law Review 1853 (2015).
The Procedural Due Process Rights of the Stigmatized Prisoner, 15 U. Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law 1055 (2013).