The characteristics that make this treatise so highly valued include:
- Thorough coverage of all areas of constitutional law, suitable for both beginning and advanced courses.
- Issues are presented clearly and with a neutral approach that examines all sides in constitutional law issues.
- Discussion not only of doctrines but of the underlying policy issues of the law.
- Flexible organization: the chapters can be used separately in any order.
Updated throughout, the Fourth Edition:
- Focuses particularly on developments since the publication of the third edition, including issues involving standing, congressional power, presidential power and the war on terror, preemption, school desegregation, abortion rights and voting rights, and First Amendment issues concerning speech and religion.
- Includes coverage of the most recent and significant cases :
- Hein v. Freedom from Religion Foundation and its implications for taxpayer standing
- Boumediene v. Bush and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, concerning the war on terror
- Wyeth v. Levine and Riegel v. Medtronic (preemption cases)
- Philip Morris USA v. Williams and the law of punitive damages
- District of Columbia v. Heller (an in-depth look at this case in a new section on the Second Amendment)
- Gonzalez v. Carhart and its importance in analyzing issues concerning abortion rights
- Crawford v. Marion County Election Bd. and the law of voting rights
- Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, on the use of race in school desegregation
- Garcetti v. Ceballos and its significance for the speech of government employees
- Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, Randall v. Sorrell, and Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC (campaign finance law)
- Morse v. Frederick and student speech
About: Relied on by students, professors, and practitioners, Erwin Chemerinsky's popular treatise, Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies, Fourth Edition, clearly states the law and identifies the underlying policy issues in each area of constitutional law.
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