This course concentrates on the freedom of speech and freedom of press clauses of the First Amendment, with some attention to the rights of assembly and petition. The religion clauses are not covered except as they relate to expression issues.
The primary goal of the course is to help students understand the numerous analytical methods courts use to resolve First Amendment disputes and the factors that influence courts to choose one method or another. Doctrine is generally discussed in the context of normative and prudential arguments. The goal is to enable students to predict the outcome of future First Amendment issues, or at least the way the courts will approach them. Students are expected to be prepared to be examined on the courts’ methodologies as well as doctrine.