Constitutional Law II, M - Kobil


Course Title

Constitutional Law II, M



First Assignment




For the first week of classes beginning Wednesday, January 15, 2015, please sign up for this class on TWEN and also read the following in ERWIN CHEMERINSKY, CONSTITUTIONAL  LAW (Aspen, 4th Ed. 2013)(ISBN 978-1-4548-1753-6):



Week 1:           Introduction to the First Amendment; Speech Advocating Unlawful Conduct 


  • Reasons for Protecting Speech:  pp. 1197-1213; 1304-13.   Consider the reasons why the U.S. Constitution includes the First Amendment, and how its goals might best be furthered.   We will begin our discussion of the First Amendment by considering several lines of cases where the Supreme Court has decided that specific categories of speech are (mostly) unprotected by the First Amendment.  Within this context, consider whether state or federal legislatures should be permitted to ban or limit the sale of extremely violent video games to minors? Adults?  What policy reasons would support regulation of these games, or the lack of regulation?  Do your answers differ if, rather than violence, the laws regulate sexual content in video games? the advocacy of dangerous political views? 
  • For Friday, consider how them Court has struggled to identify a test for speech advocating unlawful conduct and read:  pp. 1313--1337.  Which of the various tests the Court has employed appropriately balances free speech concerns with national security (note that the modern test is found in Brandenburg v. Ohio, which the Court does not apply in Humanitarian Law Project)?  How certain must it be under Brandenburg that speech will create harm for the government to punish its utterance?