Skip to content

Fall 2022 Course

Constitutional Law: First Amendment

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: Any Day Take-Home

This course is one of the basic courses in the field. It addresses the Freedom of Speech, the Free Exercise of Religion and the Establishment Clause.

Because constitutional law is always [at least potentially] in motion, this class will feature its development through time, animated and structured by its internal conflicts and by momentous shifts in its political and social contexts. Beginning with religion, we’ll go on, at greater length, to explore speech issues. Analyzing the ebb and flow of doctrine and argument in the modern period since World War II will prepare us to speculate about developments that lie ahead now.

This will compel us to confront a great issue of our day: the crisis of liberal democracy in the West.

The aim will be to enable us not only to understand and make constitutional argument, but also to better understand law in general – and its relation to politics.

In class, there may be some cold calling, but with a pass option. Electronic devices may be banned, depending on student views. If the class has under 50 students, a few grades may be raised in cases of excellent participation in class discussions.