Economic Inequality and the LawIn recent years, inequality in the distribution of wealth in the United States has reached levels not seen since the Great Depression. This seminar will examine the role of law in structuring and remedying such inequality. We will begin by laying down some conceptual and empirical foundations, including rival normative theories and policy perspectives on social welfare and inequality. We will then look at how constitutional law has responded to economic inequality particularly during the Lochner and post-Lochner eras and with the developments during the Warren and Burger Courts regarding education and welfare law. Finally, we will ask how concentrations of wealth affect the workings of American democracy, examining, among other things, the law of campaign finance and lobbying.
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