First Amendment: Cases, Controversies, and Contexts

Table of contents
First Amendment: Cases, Controversies, and Contexts
1st Edition
Ruthann Robson
Table Of Contents
First Amendment: Cases, Controversies, and Contexts


Ruthann Robson

Professor of Law & University Distinguished Professor


City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law





CALI eLangdell Press 2016


Revised First Edition


Introduction.1. About the Author

Ruthann Robson is Professor of Law and University Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law.

Her books include Dressing Constitutionally: Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy (2013); Sappho Goes to Law School (1998); Gay Men, Lesbians, and the Law (1996); and Lesbian (Out)Law: Survival Under the Rule of Law (1992).  She is also the editor of the three volume set, International Library of Essays in Sexuality & Law (2011).

She is one of two editors of the Constitutional Law Professors Blog and a frequent commentator on constitutional and sexuality issues.

She is one of the 26 professors selected for inclusion in What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard University Press, 2013).

Introduction.2. Notices

This is the firest revised edition of this casebook, updated August 2016. Visit http://elangdell.cali.org/ for the latest version and for revision history.

This work by Ruthann Robson is licensed and published by CALI eLangdell Press under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). CALI and CALI eLangdell Press reserve under copyright all rights not expressly granted by this Creative Commons license. CALI and CALI eLangdell Press do not assert copyright in US Government works or other public domain material included herein. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available through feedback@cali.org.


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Ruthann Robson, First Amendment: Cases, Controversies, and Contexts, Published by CALI eLangdell Press. Available under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 License.


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Introduction.4. Preface

This Casebook is intended to be used in an upper-division course covering the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Its 14 chapters are substantially the same length, with the exception of Chapter One, the introduction, and Chapters Eleven and Twelve which in combination are the usual length.  It is intended for 13 or 14 week semester that meets once or twice per week.  Each Chapter contains a “Chapter Outline” at the beginning for ease of reference.

The Casebook is organized with the Speech Clauses as Part One and the Religion Clauses as Part Two. Unlike many other courses, there is no accepted organizational scheme within these broad areas. As the Introduction notes, First Amendment doctrine, especially within freedom of speech, presents a varied and haphazard landscape. The Casebook follows a scheme that has proven effective in my years of teaching the course to hundreds of students.

The selection of cases tends toward the most recent and these tend to be less heavily edited.  These recent cases often contain extended discussions of earlier cases that are not included in the Casebook.

The excerpted cases and all cases in the Notes contain the official citation. However, within the text of excerpted cases, the full citations of cases are not included: only the case name and year appears the first time the case is cited within the opinion.  Moreover, case citations are not always indicated by ellipses. When content is omitted, this is indicated by this symbol: ***.

This Casebook has been immeasurably improved by comments from my students in First Amendment at CUNY School of Law, especially those in the class in the Spring of 2015 when a “dry run” of the Casebook was used. Their responses to my queries (e.g., “which 5 pages did you find least helpful in this chapter?”), their engagement with the materials and original contributions, as well as their notations of typographical errors, are deeply appreciated.

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