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Constitutional Law for a Changing America
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Constitutional Law for a Changing America
A Short Course

Eighth Edition
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September 2020 | 816 pages | CQ Press
“Excellent balance of case excerpts and author explanation, highly appropriate for undergraduate students.”
—Dr. Wendy Brame, Briar Cliff University

Political factors influence judicial decisions. Arguments and input from lawyers and interest groups, the ebb and flow of public opinion, and especially the ideological and behavioral inclinations of the justices all combine to shape the development of constitutional doctrine. Drawing on political science as much as from legal studies, Constitutional Law for a Changing America: A Short Course helps students realize that Supreme Court cases are more than just legal names and citations. With meticulous revising, the authors streamline material while accounting for recent landmark cases and new scholarship.

Ideal for a one semester course, the Eighth Edition of A Short Course offers all the hallmarks of the Rights and Powers volumes in a more condensed format. Students and instructors benefit from the online Con Law Resource Center which houses the supplemental case archive, links to CQ Press reference materials, a moot court simulation, instructor resources, and more.

Attention Instructors! Use the following bundle ISBN to ensure your students have FREE access to the regularly updated resource center featuring over 100 excerpted cases.

Get FREE access to online resources—use bundle ISBN: 978-1-0718-3225-7

 
Chronological Table of Cases
 
Tables, Figures, and Boxes
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
PART 1. THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
 
An Introduction to the U.S. Constitution
The Road to the U.S. Constitution

 
Underlying Principles of the Constitution

 
 
CHAPTER 1. The Living Constitution
The Amendment Process

 
Constitutional Change and the Supreme Court

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 2. Understanding the U.S. Supreme Court
Processing Supreme Court Cases

 
Supreme Court Decision Making: Legalism

 
Supreme Court Decision Making: Realism

 
Conducting Research on the Supreme Court

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
PART 2. INSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY
 
Structuring the Federal System
Origins of the Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances System

 
Separation of Powers and the Constitution

 
 
CHAPTER 3. The Judiciary
Establishment of the Federal Judiciary

 
Judicial Review

 
Constraints on Judicial Power

 
Constraints on Judicial Power and the Separation of Powers System

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 4. The Legislature
Article I: Historical Overview

 
Members of Congress: Qualifications, Immunity, and Discipline

 
The Sources and Scope of Legislative Powers

 
Congress and the Separation of Powers

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 5. The Executive
The Structure of the Presidency

 
Constitutional Authority of the President

 
The Domestic Powers of the President

 
Powers over Foreign Affairs

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
PART 3. NATION-STATE RELATIONS
 
Allocating Government Power
The Framers and Federalism

 
The Tenth and Eleventh Amendments

 
 
CHAPTER 6. Federalism
Federal Power, State Sovereignty, and the Tenth Amendment

 
The Post–Civil War Era and the Return of Dual Federalism

 
The (Re)Emergence of National Supremacy: Cooperative Federalism

 
Return of (a Milder Form of) Dual Federalism

 
The Eleventh Amendment

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 7. The Commerce Power
Foundations of the Commerce Power

 
Attempts to Define the Commerce Power in the Wake of the Industrial Revolution

 
The Supreme Court and the New Deal

 
The Era of Expansive Commerce Clause Jurisprudence

 
Limits on the Commerce Power: The Republican Court Era

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 8. The Power to Tax and Spend
The Constitutional Power to Tax and Spend

 
Direct Taxes and the Power to Tax Income

 
Intergovernmental Tax Immunity

 
Taxation as a Regulatory Power

 
Taxing and Spending for the General Welfare

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
PART 4. ECONOMIC LIBERTIES
 
Economic Liberties and Individual Rights
 
CHAPTER 9. The Contract Clause
The Framers and the Contract Clause

 
John Marshall and the Contract Clause

 
The Decline of the Contract Clause

 
Modern Applications of the Contract Clause

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 10. Economic Substantive Due Process
The Development of Substantive Due Process

 
The Roller-Coaster Ride of Substantive Due Process: 1898–1923

 
The Heyday of Substantive Due Process: 1923–1936

 
The Depression, the New Deal, and the Decline of Economic Substantive Due Process

 
Substantive Due Process: Contemporary Relevance

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 11. The Takings Clause
Protecting Private Property from Government Seizure

 
What Constitutes a Taking?

 
Public Use Requirement

 
What Is Just Compensation?

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
PART 5. CIVIL LIBERTIES
 
Approaching Civil Liberties
 
CHAPTER 12. Religion: Exercise and Establishment
Free Exercise of Religion

 
Religious Establishment

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 13. Freedom of Speech, Assembly, and Association
Regulations of the Content of Speech: Punishing Harmful Ideas

 
Regulations of the Context of Speech: Time, Place, and Manner Restrictions

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 14. Freedom of the Press
Prior Restraint

 
News Gathering and Special Rights

 
The Boundaries of Free Press: Libel, Obscenity, and Emerging Areas of Government Concern

 
Regulating the Internet

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 15. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms
Initial Interpretations

 
The Second Amendment Revisited

 
Heller and the States

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 16. The Right to Privacy
The Right to Privacy: Foundations

 
Reproductive Freedom and the Right to Privacy: Abortion

 
Private Activities and the Application of Griswold

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
PART 6. THE RIGHTS OF THE CRIMINALLY ACCUSED
 
The Criminal Justice System and Constitutional Rights
Overview of the Criminal Justice System

 
Trends in Supreme Court Decision Making

 
 
CHAPTER 17. Investigations and Evidence
Searches and Seizures

 
The Fifth Amendment and Self-Incrimination

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 18. Attorneys, Trials, and Punishments
The Right to Counsel

 
Fair Trials

 
Trial Proceedings

 
Sentencing and the Eighth Amendment

 
Posttrial Stages

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
PART 7. CIVIL RIGHTS
 
Civil Rights and the Constitution
The Fourteenth Amendment

 
The Fifteenth Amendment

 
 
CHAPTER 19. Discrimination
Race Discrimination and the Foundations of Equal Protection

 
Modern-Day Treatment of Equal Protection Claims

 
Strict Scrutiny and Claims of Race Discrimination

 
Heightened Scrutiny and Claims of Gender Discrimination

 
Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

 
Discrimination Based on Economic Status

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
CHAPTER 20. Voting and Representation
Voting Rights

 
Contemporary Restrictions on the Right to Vote

 
Election Campaign Regulation

 
Political Representation

 
The 2000 Presidential Election

 
Annotated Readings

 
 
Reference Material
Constitution of the United States

 
The Justices

 
Glossary

 
Online Case Archive List

 
 
Case Index
 
Subject Index
 
About the Authors

Supplements

Instructor Resource Center
edge.sagepub.com/conlaw

Take your constitutional law class beyond the book with the regularly updated SAGE Edge Con Law Resource Center, featuring more than 100 excerpted, supplemental cases referenced in the commentary of the Constitutional Law for a Changing America volumes. The authors have excerpted each case in the same format as those in the text, featuring the justices’ votes, a summary of case facts, and a carefully edited version of the justices’ opinions.

SAGE Edge for instructors supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:
  • a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources;  
  • test banks that you can also easily edit and/or insert your own personalized questions;
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course; and
  • table and figure files for use in your course.
Student Resource Center
  • The Constitutional Law for a Changing America Resource Center features more than 500 supplemental cases that are mentioned or referenced in the text’s commentary. The authors have excerpted each case in the same format as those in the text, featuring the justices’ votes, a summary of case facts, and a carefully edited version of the justices’ opinions. The authors continue to post recent cases as soon as each Supreme Court term ends, making this the most up-to-date resource of its kind. 
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow students to independently assess their own mastery of course material.
  • Mobile-friendly court case quizzes allow students to check their understanding of key facts on the court cases covered in the book.

“Excellent balance of case excerpts and author explanation, highly appropriate for undergraduate students.”

Dr. Wendy Brame
Briar Cliff University

“This textbook achieves the difficult task of being both accessible and thorough.”

Eric Schwartz
Hagerstown Community College
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • New co-author, Kevin T. McGuire of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, is a meticulous U.S Supreme Court scholar, bringing with him years of experience, exquisite writing style, and deep expertise in all topics covered in Constitutional Law for a Changing America.

  • Additional case excerpts have been added The Constitutional Law for a Changing America Resource Center. The archive allows instructors to use additional cases or to substitute favorite cases for those that appear in the printed text. The archive also provides an efficient source of material for students who want to read more deeply into the law and for instructors who wish to direct their students to an easily accessible information source for assignments.

  • Each chapter has been thoroughly updated to include important opinions handed down during the Roberts Court era. Since Chief Justice John Roberts took office in 2005, the Court has taken up many pressing issues of the day, including, health care, same-sex marriage, affirmative action, voting rights, and more.

  • Refreshed aftermath boxes provide students with updates of historically crucial cases. In addition to providing human interest material, they lead to interesting discussions about the Court’s impact on the lives of ordinary Americans—demonstrating to students that Supreme Court cases are more than merely legal names and citations; they involve real people involved in real disputes.

 

KEY FEATURES:

  • Carefully condensed from the Rights and Powers volumes, A Short Course fits the needs for those who teach institutional powers, civil liberties, rights, and justice in a single academic term and those who prefer a shorter core text.

  • The authors approach constitutional law from a social science perspective, demonstrating how many forces—not just legal factors—influence the development of the law.

  • Throughout A Short Course, the authors 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.

  • Inclusion of the latest scholarship in the fields of both political science and legal studies helps this book to remain the best political science Constitutional Law textbook on the market.

  • A regularly updated electronic archive includes over 100 supplemental Supreme Court decisions.

  • The authors are known for fastidious revising and streamlining of decisions. A recipient of 12 grants from the National Science Foundation for her work on law and legal institutions, Epstein has authored or co-authored over 100 articles and essays, as well as 15 books, and received the Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. Additionally, Thomas G. Walker is the Goodrich C. White Professor of Political Science at Emory University and co-author of A Court Divided, which won the V. O. Key, Jr. Award for the best book on southern politics.

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