Mastering First Amendment Law


By John C. Knechtle

cover image of Mastering First Amendment Law

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Mastering First Amendment Law offers students an opportunity to learn the essential elements of First Amendment law in a condensed framework. At a time when First Amendment study books are detailed, long and full of footnotes, this book's concise, up-to-date, user-friendly approach is refreshing. Whether students are studying for con law exams or the bar exam, Mastering First Amendment Law offers an outline which is easy to use. Each chapter begins with a simple roadmap alerting the reader to the direction of the chapter. The chapter naturally unfolds according to that plan and then ends with a list of checkpoints which summarize the law in pithy phrases. There are no footnotes, see also's, bibliographies, etc. because Mastering First Amendment Law is a condensed yet complete outline of constitutional law.

Mastering First Amendment Law starts by giving the reader the theory and methodology to analyze and understand First Amendment law. It then addresses various types of speech such as advocacy of illegal action, fighting words, hostile audiences, threats, hate speech, obscenity, child pornography, defamation, invasion of privacy, disclosure of confidential information and commercial speech. These topics lead to the question of where does free speech protections apply and the development of public, limited and nonpublic forums as well as private property and restricted environments such as schools, prisons and the military.

Mastering First Amendment Law then addresses freedom of the press, including broadcast regulation and advancing technology and freedom of association, including the in electoral process. Finally Mastering First Amendment Law examines freedom of religion from both the establishment clause perspective and the free exercise perspective. The former includes government support for religious beliefs and financial aid to religious institutions, and the latter includes law discriminating against religion and neutral laws adversely affecting religion.

Mastering First Amendment Law helps students learn the concepts, doctrines, and analytical tools that underlie first amendment law. Over the past 70 years, First Amendment law has grown exponentially sometimes leaving casebook authors and students feeling overwhelmed by the number and nuances of decisions. The author of Mastering First Amendment Law selected only the most important decisions for this book in order to give students the essential knowledge needed to master First Amendment law.

Mastering First Amendment Law