Cases on The First Amendment is devoted to two core principles. First, careful study of Supreme Court opinions is the pinnacle of case analysis, and study of the First Amendment is at the pinnacle of the pinnacle. Second, students cannot master case analysis unless they see cases in essentially full text, allowing a full understanding of the complexity of the case and the nature of the Court's analysis.
The First Amendment poses some of the Supreme Court's most challenging cases, as the Court must match rights most critical to a free society with the interests of society. A student who can master case analysis with First Amendment cases can analyze any case on any topic from any court.
This casebook focuses on a limited number of carefully chosen, lightly edited cases that demonstrate the breadth of the complex issues the Court faces in First Amendment disputes and the depth of the analysis devoted to resolving them. The historical development of the law is often described by the Justices themselves in their opinions. Students thus have an opportunity to learn not only the results of cases and current jurisprudential tests but also the reasoning that has shaped or challenged those tests and results.
About the Author
Dennis Alan Olson, B.A. 1978, J.D. 1984, Brigham Young University, has been a law professor since 1986, having served on the faculties at eight different law schools. He has taught The First Amendment for over twenty years. In addition to his teaching and research, he has served in an array of administrative positions including law school dean and university provost.