First Assignment Spring 2020

First Amendment Rights and Responsibilities - Kevin F. O'Neill

LAW 680 Section 61


There is one required text for this course: STONE, SEIDMAN, SUNSTEIN, TUSHNET & KARLAN, THE FIRST AMENDMENT (5th ed. 2016) (Wolters Kluwer) (ISBN 9781454868248) (feel free to buy a USED copy of this book).

There is no recommended text; instead, I will be giving you two resources that I have written specifically for this course—a Speech Clause Overview and a Course Outline. Those documents, along with my Syllabus, will be ready for downloading before the first day of spring semester classes (January 13, 2020). You'll find them on my First Amendment course page, which is up and running on the Law School's website among the "Online Course Materials." Once they're ready, I will email you the password for gaining access to my course page.

I will employ a "problem" approach in teaching this course. In the classroom, we will apply First Amendment case law to hypothetical fact patterns that I have fashioned. I have written more than 80 such problems. They will be posted on my course page before our first day of class.

I will spend the first three class sessions giving you an introduction to the history and black letter law of the Speech Clause of the First Amendment. For those class sessions, please read STONE SEIDMAN, pages 3-16. Once those introductory class sessions are over, we'll turn to our first body of Speech Clause case law—expression that induces others to break the law. If you'd like to get started on those readings, they span pages 17-61 of STONE SEIDMAN—but feel free to skip notes a, b, and c (pp. 25-26), notes 3-5 (p. 34), notes 1-5 (pp. 43-45), notes 1-3 (pp. 51-52), note 5 (p. 54), and notes 4(a)-(b) (pp. 60-61).

I look forward to seeing you at our first class session—on Monday evening, January 13, commencing at 6:00 p.m. in Room 201.


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