COURSE DESCRIPTION: FIRST AMENDMENT SEMINAR

This Seminar focuses on both the religion clauses and the speech and press clauses of the First Amendment. Approximately six weeks is devoted to the religion clauses. Coverage of the U. S. Supreme Court's interpretations of the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses is relatively comprehensive. The remainder of the Semester is devoted to an in-depth study of selected free speech and press issues such as restrictions on commercial speech (e.g., tobacco advertising), access to the mass media (e.g., the fairness doctrine and the equal time rule), restrictions on publicly funded speech (e.g., strings on funding for the arts), hate speech and racial and sexual harassment, corporate political speech, and political campaign finance reform.  Topics are subject to change in light of new developments.

Enrollment is limited to 20. Because this is a seminar, willingness to participate voluntarily in group discussions is essential. The use of electronic mail and on-line resources is required. Some assigned materials will be made available in electronic form. A research paper is required. The topic must be approved by the instructor. All written submissions, including the topic proposal, any outlines or drafts, and the final paper, must be submitted electronically. There is no examination.