Constitutional Law in Contemporary America is the most up-to-date, carefully edited, and student-friendly undergraduate constitutional law textbook. Placing a unique emphasis on property rights, election law, and issues of gender, gender orientation, foreign policy, and criminal due process, the two-volume text features:
- Skillfully edited excerpts of canonical Supreme Court decisions and lower federal and state court decisions
- Historically important auxiliary materials—such as the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, the Declaration of Sentiments, and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution—which help students better understand American constitutional law, politics, and government
- Succinct case introductions, timelines, discussion questions, chapter glossaries, and chapter bibliographies
- Discussions emphasizing significant contemporary issues (e.g., same-sex marriage, free speech on the Internet, and the war on terrorism)
- Topical overviews for each constitutional subject area
In order to best suit the traditional two-semester constitutional law sequence, the text is conveniently divided into two volumes:
- Volume One: Institutions, Politics, and Process presents cases relating to the three branches of the national government. The authors address federalism, the relationship between the citizen and the political process, and those issues of property that have dominated the Supreme Court since its inception nearly two centuries ago. Other topics include: Constitutional and foreign affairs, including case law developed post-9/11; election law and political process cases; the role and power of the federal courts; economic due process; and eminent domain law.
- Volume Two: Civil Rights and Liberties covers civil rights and liberties issues including those addressed in the Bill of Rights (as subsequently applied to the states) and in the Reconstruction Amendments. The authors address expressive freedoms such as religion, speech, press, and association, as well as the rights of those accused or convicted of crimes. Other topics include the state action doctrine, equal protection, the Second Amendment and gun rights, the rights of students, the death penalty, privacy, and reproductive rights.