Considerably shorter than most casebooks for the course, American Constitutional Law: Powers and Liberties
is an effective teaching resource, providing the basics of constitutional theory without getting mired in pure theory. Professors have ample opportunity to shape the discussion and develop issues in their own way. Cases are well-selected and tightly edited, making them easy to grasp, and allowing the Court's voice to be heard without overwhelming the reader. All the topics in an introductory survey course are covered with minimal reliance on secondary sources, omitting extensive treatment of academic commentary. Well-written hypotheticals challenge student thinking during class preparation and provide a platform for class discussion. The author condenses some portions of constitutional law into narrative summaries and follows a sensible organization: an issue is introduced at the beginning of each part, chapter, and section, followed by relevant materials, and a tentative resolution of the problem. American Constitutional Law: Powers and Liberties
can be used for a 4-unit, single-semester survey or a two-semester Con Law I and II course.
The Fourth Edition sees a reduction in page length by selective removal of cases and sharp editing, and the material on commerce power and free speech has been reorganized. New Principal cases include United States v. Comstock, McDonald v. City of Chicago, Snyder v. Phelps, United States v. Stevens, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass n, and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Major 2012 cases are introduced as new Principal or Note cases: The Health Care Cases, United States v. Alvarez, FCC v. Fox, and Arizona v. United States . Other new Note cases featured are Wyeth v. Levine, Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization v. Winn, Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, Free Enterprise Fund v. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, Sorrell v. IMS Health, Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, Pleasant Grove v. Summum, Ysursa v. Pocatello Education Ass'n, Doe v. Reed, Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., Northwest Austin Municipal Utility District No. 1 v. Holder, Arizona Free Enterprise Club's Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, and Hosanna-Tabor Church v. EEOC.