Summary: Can your students get a good understanding of constitutional law if you leave out the politics? Epstein and Walker would say no and believe that any study of constitutional law is richer and more rewarding when its political context is emphasized. Simply put, political factors influence judicial decisions. Arguments and input from lawyers and interest groups, the positions of elected officials, the ebb and flow of public opinion, and especially the ideological and behav ...show moreioral inclinations of the justices all combine to influence the development of constitutional doctrine. Drawing on political science as much as from legal studies, Constitutional Law for a Changing America helps students realize--quite powerfully--that Supreme Court cases are more than just legal names and citations. The landmark cases analyzed and excerpted in this exceptional two-volume set involve real people embroiled in real disputes whose cases have real political consequences.
The authors have carefully created structure and features in each chapter that enhance learning. Not only do they provide substantive commentary around cases, helping students to see a case within the larger picture of an evolving and dynamic body of law, they encourage students to see alternative points of view by including excerpts of important concurring and dissenting opinions for virtually all cases in the book. The popular Aftermath and Global Perspective boxes answer students' lingering questions about what happened to litigants after a ruling or how U.S. case law compares to the law in other nations. Epstein and Walker also include profiles of influential groups and justices, photographs of litigants, exhibits from cases, and lively descriptions of the events that led to the suits. Web addresses are included throughout, giving students easy access to the full text of opinions as well as to audio recordings of oral arguments when available.
Examining the Supreme Court's interpretation of the basic liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and subsequent amendments to the Constitution, the authors cover such important topics as freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, discrimination, and political participation. Shaving off 50 pages with strategic streamlining, the book is now leaner, allowing students to engage more effectively with material, while allowing instructors to assign more cases without necessarily assigning more pages. Bringing the volume fully up-to-date, this sixth edition gives increased attention to the electronic age and the significance of the Internet on speech, press, libel, obscenity, and privacy, as well as the impact of the war on terrorism on rights, liberty, and justice. ...show less
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