Cover image for Student's guide to landmark congressional laws on the First Amendment
Title:
Student's guide to landmark congressional laws on the First Amendment
Author:
Willis, Clyde E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xxxii, 232 pages ; 25 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780313314162
Format :
Book

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Status
Central Library KF4770 .W55 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

We Americans have enshrined our most cherished rights in the First Amendment to our Constitution, including the freedom of religion, speech and press; the right to assemble; and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. Since the formation of the republic, Congress has been actively engaged in enacting laws that have a direct and significant bearing on First Amendment rights. This ideal student resource provides the carefully edited and explained text of 31 landmark Congressional laws in all areas of First Amendment rights--from internal security to symbolic speech, campaign financing, obscenity, intellectual property, and freedom of religion. Organized topically for ease of use, this resource allows students to examine and compare the landmark laws on a particular topic across the breadth of American history through the year 2000. For instance, students can compare changes in the laws on obscenity from the Comstock Act of 1873, to the Anti-Dial-a-Porn Act of 1989 and the Child Online Protection Act of 1998.

The landmark laws are organized into nine categories: internal security, symbolic speech, election campaign activities, obscenity, intellectual property, labor-management relations, federally funded programs, and freedom of religion. Each category opens with a general overview of the laws covered in that section and a brief summary of how they relate to each other. The entry on each landmark law features a discussion of the historical background of the law, the intent and purpose of the law, an examination of the substance and impact of the law, and a carefully edited actual text of key passages of the law. Each entry concludes with a bibliography of recommended print sources and Web sites for students. An introductory overview of Congressional legislation on the First Amendment, followed by a detailed timeline of milestones in the history of Congressional legislation on First Amendment issues, put the topic in historical context for students. An appendix of tables of the statutes and cases with complete citations will aid student researchers.


Author Notes

CLYDE E. WILLIS is Associate Professor of Political Science at Middle Tennessee State University.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

New title in the Student's Guide to Landmark Congressional Laws series "designed to be profitable to high-school and college students who are examining various public policy issues." More than 30 laws are presented and discussed under broad topics such as intellectual property and obscenity.


Choice Review

This work is one in a series of student guides to landmark congressional legislation on various subjects such as education, Social Security, and youth. In this volume, Willis (Middle Tennessee State Univ.) examines congressional statutes that have an impact on the First Amendment. After a brief introduction to the First Amendment, he includes chapters on internal security, symbolic speech, election campaign activities, obscenity, intellectual property, labor-management relations, federally funded programs, and freedom of religion. In each chapter Willis provides a helpful discussion and summary of the 31 pieces of legislation and their impact on First Amendment freedoms, along with an edited version of the actual text of the laws. Included here are acts such as the Sedition Act of 1795, the Smith Act of 1940, the Flag Protection Act, the Federal Election Campaign Act, the Comstock Act, and others. Although marketed as a reference work for high school students, this book is recommended for all levels of readers interested in the First Amendment and congressional threats to the freedoms it guarantees. An extensive time line provides context while comprehensive appendixes and index simplify the location of information for the casual reader. M. W. Bowers University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Table of Contents

Series Forewordp. vii
Prefacep. xi
Timeline of Events Related to Congress and the First Amendmentp. xiii
Introductionp. xxi
1. Internal Securityp. 1
2. Symbolic Speechp. 53
3. Election Campaign Activitiesp. 63
4. Obscenityp. 101
5. Intellectual Property: The Copyright Act of 1976p. 125
6. Labor-Management Relationsp. 139
7. Federally Funded Programsp. 153
8. Freedom of Religionp. 167
Appendix A List of Cited Statutesp. 213
Appendix B List of Cited Casesp. 219
Indexp. 225

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