First Things First: A Modern Coursebook on Free Speech Fundamentals

Top Five Books LLC
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First Things First is a college coursebook like no other. Written by three First Amendment experts and professors, the book provides students with the fundamentals of modern American free speech law in a clear, concise, and accessible manner. First Things First also introduces readers to First Amendment issues related to topics such as student speech, freedom of the press, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, advertising, music censorship, and artificial intelligence. The text includes scores of audio and video links, photographs, and helpful study-aid summaries and questions. First Things First’s vibrant and engaging tone ensures readers will leave this book with a dynamic understanding of their rights and the value of free speech.


First Things First sets the standard for teaching free speech law.… It combines clearly-written case narratives with frequent excursions to a rich trove of other online material—including video and audio files—that provide additional legal and historical context.” —Stephen D. Solomon (founding editor, First Amendment Watch)


“With admirable clarity and brevity, First Things First covers the field of First Amendment law and theory in a readable and accessible way.… This innovative book explains not just the fundamentals of First Amendment law, but how we got to where we are, and why.” —Robert Corn-Revere (First Amendment lawyer)


First Things First is a welcome addition to the course materials for students studying law, journalism, history, political science, government and a host of other disciplines. —Lucy A. Dalglish, dean and professor, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland


First Things First is an incredibly insightful and inviting introduction to U.S. speech and press law. Its approach makes its content completely accessible to beginner and expert alike. But even better, its scores of online links to additional layers of material—including streaming audio and video—make this narrative and case-oriented resource like no other. In addition to teaching the law, the various elements help to reveal what it means to live in a free speech society. First Things First is made for the 21st century student—and professor. —Joseph Russomanno, Associate Professor, Arizona State University

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About the author

Ronald K.L. Collins is the Harold S. Shefelman Scholar at the University of Washington School of Law. He specializes in First Amendment law and in constitutional law. Before coming to the University of Washington in 2010, he was a scholar at the Newseum's First Amendment Center in Washington, D.C., where he continues to serve as a fellow. In 2011 he received the Administration of Justice award from the Supreme Court Fellows Alumni Association "in recognition of his scholarly and professional achievements in advancing the rule of law."Collins clerked for Justice Hans A. Linde on the Oregon Supreme Court and was a Supreme Court Fellow under Chief Justice Warren Burger. After working with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, he was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School. Thereafter, he taught constitutional law and commercial law at George Washington University Law Center and Temple Law School.He is the editor of The Fundamental Holmes: A Free Speech Chronicle and Reader (2010), and the coauthor, with Sam Chaltain, of We Must Not Be Afraid to Be Free: Stories about Free Speech in America (2011). His other coauthored works include The Death of Discourse (1996, 2005), The Trials of Lenny Bruce (2002, 2012), Mania (2013), and On Dissent (2013), all with David M. Skover. He is also the author of Nuanced Absolutism: Floyd Abrams & the First Amendment (2013) and the editor of The Death of Contract (1995) and Constitutional Government in America (1980).His numerous articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including the Harvard, Stanford, Michigan, and Texas Law Reviews and in the Supreme Court Review. He has also published in various newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Baltimore Sun as well as in The Nation and in the Columbia Journalism Review.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Top Five Books LLC
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Published on
Sep 9, 2019
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Pages
416
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ISBN
9781938938412
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Civil Rights
Political Science / Civil Rights
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Over the past 30 years, the gay rights movement has moved from the margins to the center of American politics, sparking debate from bedroom to boardroom to battlefield. Out of the Closets and into the Courts analyzes recent gay rights cases and explores the complex relationship between litigation and social change.

“An excellent book, enlightening and well-written. Out of the Closets and into the Courts should be highly useful in the classroom and of interest to a broad audience.”
--Evan Gerstmann, Loyola Marymount University

“A detailed historical analysis of changes in the law surrounding gay and lesbian relationships, Out of the Closets and into the Courts also breaks fresh ground in thinking about how and when law can be used to affect social change. The concept of a legal opportunity structure, which complements the concept of political opportunity structure, proves to be very useful in analyzing judicial changes in the law. A very impressive analysis.”
--Mayer Zald, Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan

“Ellen Andersen's book integrates sophisticated sociolegal theory and thorough empirical research into a compelling, insightful analysis of legal mobilization campaigns led by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. This study makes a significant contribution to scholarship about struggles over gay rights in the U.S. and about legal reform politics in general.”
--Michael McCann, University of Washington

Ellen Ann Andersen is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
From the head of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and noted professor of law and history at the University of Pennsylvania, a groundbreaking book that examines both civil and criminal court cases from the Civil War to the present, to reveal the impact of stereotyping--race, class, gender--on the American legal system.

The question Mary Frances Berry asks: Whose story most strongly influences the making of legal decisions in the American justice system? Using previously unexamined material from state appellate civil and criminal court cases--cases of rape, seduction, and paternity disputes, and cases dealing with murder, inheritance, and property disputes in which sexual relations are at the heart of the story--Berry takes us through two centuries of American case law to show how attitudes toward gender, race, class, and sexuality have materially affected, and continue to affect, judicial decision-making.

Among the many cases Berry discusses:

Alabama, 1867--A white woman sues her husband for divorce in both the lower and state supreme courts because of his sexual relationship with a former slave, and is denied her petition on the basis that a sexual relationship between a white man and a black woman is "of no consequence."

New York, 1932--In a surprising victory, the longtime mistress of a theater owner successfully contests her lover's will and proves her right to inherit a wife's portion of the estate.

Texas, 1984--A suit by a woman against her female lover ends in a decision that allows the court to avoid acknowledging the existence of a lesbian relationship.

And, in the 1990s, we see the cases of William Kennedy Smith, Mike Tyson, and O. J. Simpson in a new context.

Moving stories, shocking stories, ironic stories, tragic stories--a book that fascinates in terms of its human drama, by its demonstration of the ways in which prejudice affects justice, and by its account of how the law has evolved (or hasn't) as our racial, social, and sexual attitudes have changed.
The New York Times Bestseller

In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency's widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security and information privacy. As the arguments rage on and the government considers various proposals for reform, it is clear that we have yet to see the full impact of Snowden's disclosures.

Now for the first time, Greenwald fits all the pieces together, recounting his high-intensity ten-day trip to Hong Kong, examining the broader implications of the surveillance detailed in his reporting for The Guardian, and revealing fresh information on the NSA's unprecedented abuse of power with never-before-seen documents entrusted to him by Snowden himself.
Going beyond NSA specifics, Greenwald also takes on the establishment media, excoriating their habitual avoidance of adversarial reporting on the government and their failure to serve the interests of the people. Finally, he asks what it means both for individuals and for a nation's political health when a government pries so invasively into the private lives of its citizens—and considers what safeguards and forms of oversight are necessary to protect democracy in the digital age. Coming at a landmark moment in American history, No Place to Hide is a fearless, incisive, and essential contribution to our understanding of the U.S. surveillance state.

There is no book of political strategy more canonical than Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince, but few ethicists would advise policymakers to treat it as a bible. The lofty ideals of the law, especially, seem distant from the values that the word "Machiavellian" connotes, and judges are supposed to work above the realm of politics. In The Judge, however, Ronald Collins and David Skover argue that Machiavelli can indeed speak to judges, and model their book after The Prince. As it turns out, the number of people who think that judges in the U.S. are apolitical has been shrinking for decades. Both liberals and conservatives routinely criticize their ideological opponents on the bench for acting politically. Some authorities even posit the impossibility of apolitical judges, and indeed, in many states, judicial elections are partisan. Others advocate appointing judges who are committed to being dispassionate referees adhering to the letter of the law. However, most legal experts, regardless of their leanings, seem to agree that despite widespread popular support for the ideal of the apolitical judge, this ideal is mere fantasy. This debate about judges and politics has been a perennial in American history, but it intensified in the 1980s, when the Reagan administration sought to place originalists in the Supreme Court. It has not let up since. Ronald Collins and David Skover argue that the debate has become both stale and circular, and instead tackle the issue in a boldly imaginative way. In The Judge, they ask us to assume that judges are political, and that they need advice on how to be effective political actors. Their twenty-six chapters track the structure of The Prince, and each provides pointers to judges on how to cleverly and subtly advance their political goals. In this Machiavellian vision, law is inseparable from realpolitik. However, the authors' point isn't to advocate for this coldly realistic vision of judging. Their ultimate goal is identify both legal realists and originalists as what they are: explicitly political (though on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum). Taking its cues from Machiavelli, The Judge describes what judges actually do, not what they ought to do.
A work of riveting literary journalism that explores the roots and repercussions of the infamous killing of Eric Garner by the New York City police—from the bestselling author of The Divide

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST

On July 17, 2014, a forty-three-year-old black man named Eric Garner died on a Staten Island sidewalk after a police officer put him in what has been described as an illegal chokehold during an arrest for selling bootleg cigarettes. The final moments of Garner’s life were captured on video and seen by millions. His agonized last words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for the nascent Black Lives Matter protest movement. A grand jury ultimately declined to indict the officer who wrestled Garner to the pavement.
 
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In a stinging dissent to a 1961 Supreme Court decision that allowed the Illinois state bar to deny admission to prospective lawyers if they refused to answer political questions, Justice Hugo Black closed with the memorable line, "We must not be afraid to be free." Black saw the First Amendment as the foundation of American freedom--the guarantor of all other Constitutional rights. Yet since free speech is by nature unruly, people fear it. The impulse to curb or limit it has been a constant danger throughout American history. In We Must Not Be Afraid to Be Free, Ron Collins and Sam Chaltain, two noted free speech scholars and activists, provide authoritative and vivid portraits of free speech in modern America. The authors offer a series of engaging accounts of landmark First Amendment cases, including bitterly contested cases concerning loyalty oaths, hate speech, flag burning, student anti-war protests, and McCarthy-era prosecutions. The book also describes the colorful people involved in each case--the judges, attorneys, and defendants--and the issues at stake. Tracing the development of free speech rights from a more restrictive era--the early twentieth century--through the Warren Court revolution of the 1960s and beyond, Collins and Chaltain not only cover the history of a cherished ideal, but also explain in accessible language how the law surrounding this ideal has changed over time. Essential for anyone interested in this most fundamental of our rights, We Must Not Be Afraid to Be Free provides a definitive and lively account of our First Amendment and the price courageous Americans have paid to secure them.
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