Main Image

About the Book

The First Amendment: Cases and Theory

Front Cover - The First Amendment: Cases and Theory

Third Edition

Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Jr., University of Alabama
Christina E. Wells, University of Missouri
Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, University of Florida
Carolina Mala Corbin

2017.  1,020 pages.  ISBN: 978-1-4548-9193-2. With Teacher’s Manual.

Need the 2nd edition? Click Here

About the Book

A comprehensive, up-to-date, and accessible text, The First Amendment: Cases and Theory, Third Edition 2017, uses the case method to elucidate theory and doctrine.  In an area rife with with multi-factor tests, mastery of First Amendment theory and doctrine requires more than rote memorization of three and four part tests; it requires a firm foundation in the underlying theories and purposes that animate the Supreme Court’s decisions.  No less important, the casebook also includes Theory Applied Problems at the end of each major section.  These Theory Applied Problems provide an easy and convenient means to assess students’ mastery of the relevant theories and precedents.  Because the Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence has been a work in progress for many decades, the editors present the cases and doctrinal developments in historical context, thereby showcasing the Supreme Court’s evolving tests, standards, and approaches. The editors also have included carefully targeted coverage of how other constitutional democracies, such as Canada and Germany, have reached very different conclusions regarding the scope and meaning of expressive freedom.  In an increasingly globalized marketplace of ideas, U.S. students need to have some appreciation of the idiosyncratic nature of U.S. free speech law and the degree to which the U.S.’s highly speech-protective legal metrics have failed to gain widespread acceptance in the larger world.  All major contemporary free speech controversies receive coverage, as do all major contemporary religion ones.  The Free Exercise Clause chapters examine individual exemptions as well as institutional exemptions such as the ministerial exemption from anti-discrimination law. They also cover the growing body of Religious Freedom Restoration Act law. The Establishment Clause chapters lay out the many doctrinal tests co-existing in Establishment jurisprudence and look at government funding of religion, religion in public schools, and government-sponsored prayers and religious displays. In sum, The First Amendment:  Cases and Theory is a highly teachable casebook suitable for a standard three hour survey of the First Amendment, but also for more focused courses on the Speech, Press, Assembly Clauses and the Religion Clauses. 

Key Features:

  • Completely revised and updated coverage to 2017 – including coverage of the Supreme Court’s major First Amendment decisions since publication of the Second Edition
  • Comprehensive coverage of contemporary major free speech and religious freedom controversies that are likely to generate future landmark Supreme Court precedents in the years to come
  • Suitable for adoption in comprehensive First Amendment survey courses and also for more narrowly focused courses on only the Speech, Press, and Assembly Clauses or the Religion Clauses
  • Includes the participation of Carolina Mala Corbin, a noted expert on the Religion Clauses and government speech, as a new casebook co-author
  • Covers cutting edge free speech controversies such as sexting, revenge porn, racist trademarks, government speech, and student speech rights in the age of the internet
  • Places doctrinal developments into a coherent historical narrative that shows the evolving nature of First Amendment doctrine
  • Includes targeted coverage of free speech rules in foreign jurisdictions that have considered, but rejected, the U.S. approach in important areas such as libel, hate speech, national security, and sexually-explicit speech
  • Completely re-organized and updated coverage of the Religion Clauses
  • Includes up-to-date coverage of the growing conflicts over religious exemptions to anti-discrimination laws for individuals, churches, and businesses.
  • Includes dedicated coverage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and state RFRAs
  • Presents the “Lemon,” “endorsement,” “coercion,” and “history and tradition” tests for Establishment Clause challenges
  • Separation of church and state cases in multiple areas from vouchers to creationism in schools to government sponsored Latin crosses to legislative prayers. Provides comprehensive coverage of the First Amendment in a casebook that can still be taught cover-to-cover in a standard three hour survey course format without requiring the instructor to make selective coverage decisions



Preface / Sample Chapters