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7503 - Advanced Constitutional Law: The First Amendment
Professor: Daniel P. Tokaji
Semester: 2012 Autumn
Second Writing Requirement? No
Professional Responsibility? No
Means of Assessment: Take-Home Exam
This course explores American constitutional law regarding freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of the press. It focuses on the leading First Amendment cases that give expression the most extensive protection found anywhere in the world. We will also consider the arguments of some critics that our Supreme Court has gone too far, for example, in protecting false speech with little social value or corporate political expenditures. The course will consider not only the reasons for protecting speech and association, but also countervailing interests -- such as public safety, protection against racial animus, and promotion of political equality -- that lead some to argue for limitations on speech and related activities. Throughout the course, we will compare the approach taken in the U.S. to that of other countries.
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