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Constitutional law for a changing America : a short course

Constitutional law for a changing America : a short course / Lee Epstein, Kevin T. McGuire, Thomas G. Walker.
Ninth edition.
Thousand Oaks, California : Sage ; CQ Press, [2024]
Physical Description
xxii, 767 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm.
"OVER THE PAST two decades or so, constitutional law texts for political science courses have experienced a radical change. At one time, relatively short volumes, containing either excerpts from landmark cases or narratives of them, dominated the market. Now, large, almost mammoth books abound-some in single volumes, others in two volumes, but all designed for a two-semester sequence. This trend, while fitting compatibly with the needs of many instructors, bypassed others, including those who teach institutional powers, civil liberties, rights, and justice in a single academic term and those who prefer a shorter core text. Constitutional Law for a Changing America: A Short Course was designed as an alternative text for these instructors. The first edition appeared in 1996. Its positive reception encouraged us to prepare subsequent editions-including this, the ninth edition. Like its predecessors, this edition of A Short Course seeks to combine the best features of the traditional, concise volumes-it interweaves excerpts of the U.S. Supreme Court's most important decisions and narratives of major developments in the law. For example, our discussion of the right to counsel offers not only the landmark decision Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) but also an account of the critical cases preceding Gideon, such as Powell v. Alabama (1932), and those following it, such as Scott v. Illinois (1979). (Note: Boldface here and throughout the book indicates cases we analyze in the text and excerpt in the book's archive. More details on the archive follow.) At the same time, we thought it important to move beyond the traditional texts and write a book that reflects the exciting nature of constitutional law. In doing so, we were not without guidance. For more than two decades we have been producing Constitutional Law for aChanging America, now moving into its twelfth edition. This two-volume book, we believe, provides an accessible yet sophisticated and contemporary take on the subject. A Short Course, then, although presenting cases and other materials in ways quite distinct from our two-volume book, maintains some of its most desirable features. First, we approach constitutional law, as we do in the Constitutional Law for a Changing America series, from a social science perspective, demonstrating how many forces-not just legal factors-influence the development of the law. The justices carry out their duties in the context of the political, historical, economic, and social environment that surrounds them. Accordingly, throughout A Short Course, we highlight how relevant political, historical, economic, and social events; personnel changes on the Court; interest groups; and even public opinion may have affected the justices' decisions, in addition to traditional legal considerations, such as precedent, text, and history"-- Provided by publisher.
Other formats
Online version: Epstein, Lee, 1958- Constitutional law for a changing America Ninth edition. Thousand Oaks, California : CQ Press, [2024]
Added to Catalog
March 19, 2024
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Part 1. The living Constitution
Understanding the U.S. Supreme Court
Part 2. Institutional authority
The judiciary
The legislature
The executive
Part 3. Nation-state relations
The commerce power
The power to tax and spend
Part 4. The contract clause
Economic substantive due process
The takings clause
Part 5. Civil liberties
Religion : exercise and establishment
Foundations of freedom of expression
Modern-day approaches to free expression
Freedom of the press
The right to keep and bear arms
The right to privacy
Part 6. The rights of the criminally accused
Investigations and evidence
Attorneys, trials, and punishments
Part 7. Civil Rights
Voting and representation.

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