This course moves beyond the coverage of the basic constitutional law course, which focuses on theories of constitutional interpretation and on the contours of substantive constitutional doctrine, to explore the theory and practice of litigating constitutional and certain other civil rights claims and to examine some of the surrounding history and context. It covers the “nuts and bolts” (and theoretical underpinnings) of litigation of constitutional claims against governments or their officials and employees. While concentrating on 42 U.S.C. §1983, the workhorse of constitutional litigation against local governments and state and local officials and employees, it also covers Bivens actions against federal officials and employees and briefly looks at the surviving remnants of other Reconstruction Era civil rights legislation such as 42 U.S.C. §§1981, 1982, and 1985. This course does not cover modern civil rights legislation in areas such as voting, employment, public accommodations, housing, disabilities, etc., which are covered in other classes.