904 SP Con Law: 1st Amendment - §001, Spring 2009

Categories: Constitutional Law

Instructor(s) Desai, Anuj

This course covers the basic principles of First Amendment law & policy. It begins with consideration of the areas of speech that are excepted from general First Amendment protection-incitement, defamation & false statements of fact, obscenity, child pornography, threats & offensive speech, and speech owned by others in the first third of the class. It then turns to commercial speech-an area of diminished protection & an evolving doctrine- for several weeks. The remainder of the course treats the application of strict scrutiny to regulations of protected speech, content discrimination within exceptions to protected speech, standards for review of content-neutral speech restrictions, and restrictions on expressive conduct treated as speech.The coverage concludes with consideration of the vagueness & overbreadth doctrines, law on prior restraint of speech, and First Amendment considerations as to claims of compelled speech and the right of expressive association under the First Amendment.

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