Details

First Amendment

On any given day, opening a newspaper or clicking a link means finding a story about the protections of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Though these stories involve the most contemporary of controversies - from gossip websites to antiwar speech, from peep shows to cross-burning - they also implicate the most traditional issues regarding the intersection between law and communication in a democratic society: the proper balance between freedom and security, the conflict between societal concerns and individual rights, and the importance of communication to self-governance and personal fulfillment. Free speech, as it turns out, is not merely a right; it is a series of dilemmas. What happens when the individual's desire to communicate conflicts with the concerns of the community, as expressed in legal regulation? What competing values outweigh the value of free expression? Are some types of speech considered more worthy (and more guaranteed) than others? And does freedom of the press connote a level of protection beyond that meant by freedom of speech? This course will explore the tension between individual expression and societal order, as revealed in legal theory and in the American courts. Specifically, we will examine the First Amendment issues raised by, and legal precedent governing a series of controversies, including: incitement to illegal conduct and political dissent, defamation and loss of reputation, fighting words and hate speech, use of the public forum and symbolic conduct, obscenity and pornography, commercial advertising, and others.


Catalog Number: CONPUB 610
Practice Areas: Constitutional Law & ProcedureTort Law Practice Area
Additional Course Information: Open to First Year Students


Course History

Spring 2014
Title: First Amendment
Faculty: DeSanto, Jason C. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 65     Actual: 65



Spring 2013
Title: First Amendment
Faculty: DeSanto, Jason C. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 65     Actual: 0



Spring 2012
Title: First Amendment
Faculty: DeSanto, Jason C. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Type: Lecture     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 65     Actual: 0



Spring 2011
Title: First Amendment
Faculty: DeSanto, Jason C. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Type: Lecture     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 65     Actual: 59