This course will provide students the opportunity for intense and detailed study of cutting-edge issues arising under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. Students will be required to read leading Supreme Court cases in full (including concurrences and dissents) to enable them to discuss and debate the decisions and the analytical approaches used to reach them.
We will discuss the First Amendment on Monday and Tuesday and the Second Amendment on Wednesday. We will compare and contrast the two on Thursday.
By the end of the week, I hope you will have learned to:
- Understand more deeply First and Second Amendment jurisprudence;
- Appreciate how difficult it is for the Supreme Court to decide close cases;
- Express your thoughts clearly and concisely and to disagree with colleagues without being disagreeable;
- See virtue in reading cases in their entirety, rather than in excerpt form;
- Recognize different judicial philosophies in Supreme Court opinions;
- Identify premises justices use as starting points for their analyses; and
- Write an exam that reflects command of First and Second Amendment cases.