Course Details

Topics in Government Secrecy

This course introduces students to major mechanisms by which the executive branch keeps secrets, including the classification system, the doctrines of executive privilege and state secrets privilege, and secret circumventions of statutory requirements. The course will also introduce students to some of the major means by which secrecy is challenged, including the Freedom of Information Act, first amendment access and newsgathering claims, and whistleblower protection laws. Throughout the semester, we will discuss a number of recurring themes including the connection between government secrecy and constitutional theories of presidential power, the politics of secrecy and transparency and the role of constitutional discourse in the same, and the costs and benefits of secrecy and transparency. Prerequisites: Students should have completed constitutional law. Teaching Methods: Class Participation, Discussion, Lecture, Presentations, Readings, Research Project, Seminar, Writing Assignments Evaluation Methods: Attendance, Class Participation, Final Paper, Presentations Course Materials: Readings -- including judicial opinions and excerpts from books, law review articles, and congressional and other reports -- will be provided to students. All or most of the readings will be provided via a class website.

Catalog Number: CONPUB 720


Course History

Spring 2015
Title: Topics in Government Secrecy
Faculty: Kitrosser, Heidi
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 25