Const Law II: Free Speech

Class Unique: 28650

This course will cover the history and the recent judicial interpretation of the First Amendment's free speech clause. Beginning with debate over the original meaning of the First Amendment, the course will proceed chronologically through World War I. Subjects will include the Alien and Sedition Laws of 1798,the suppression of abolitionist literature before the Civil War, the range of popular and legal views about the meaning of free speech between the Civil War and World War I, and the suppression of dissent during World War I. Most of the course will address the modern judicial interpretation of free speech that began in the years immediately following World War I. Coverage of modern judicial interpretation will be topical rather than chronological. Subjects will include subversive advocacy, prior restraints, tort law and the First Amendment, offensive speech, symbolic dissent, freedom not to speak, the government as employer, the government's management of public property, access to the mass media, campaign finance, obscenity, and commercial speech. Readings, particularly for the historical portion of the course, will consist of secondary sources as well as legal decisions. NO PREREQUISITES.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 1:15 - 2:05 pm TNH 2.124
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room
Final 5/11/19 8:30 am A-Z

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Not Allowed
Will use floating mean GPA if applicable


  • The First Amendment in the Twenty-First Century - Van Alstyne and Lash
      Foundation , edition: 5th
      ISBN: 978-1-60930-437-9   (required)
  • Free Speech in Its Forgotten Years - Rabban
      Cambridge University Press
      ISBN: 0-521-62013-9   (required)