Const Law II: Free Speech

Course Information

Registration Information

Meeting Times

Day Time Location
MON, TUE, WED 1:15 - 2:05 pm JON 5.206/7

Evaluation Method

Type Date Time Location
Final exam December 14, 2021 1:30 pm A-Z in 2.139


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.

Textbooks ( * denotes required )

Free Speech In Its Forgotten Years, 1870-1920 *
Rabban, David M.
ISBN: 978-0-521-65537-8
The First Amendment in the Twenty-First Century *
Vanalstyne, William W., Lash, Kurt T., Van Alstyne, William, and Lash, Kurt
Foundation , edition: 5
ISBN: 978-1-60930-437-9


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Important Class Changes

Date Updated
10/29/2021 Exam information updated