Constitutional Law: Power, Liberty, Equality presents most of the constitutional law cases generally considered canonical and, with one important exception, follows the tried and true organization employed in many constitutional law texts: dividing chapters and sections are along subject matter lines such as the Commerce Clause, equal protection, freedom of expression, and so on. Nonetheless, this book differs from other constitutional law textbooks in important ways. The text introduces cases by providing contextual information and by explicitly articulating much of the black letter law being introduced. Under this structure, the cases provide the student with the opportunity to more easily see the difference between the doctrine per se and how it is actually developed and used by the Court. Cases become examples of the rules being applied and vehicles for deeper exploration of broader principles and themes. Starting with explanations rather than cases allows deeper and more immediate exploration of the interrelationship of history, methods of constitutional interpretation, underlying policies, and the content of constitutional doctrine. The book presents many short, simple hypotheticals on most subjects to help them confirm their ability to articulate the rules and to apply them in a straightforward way. The teachers’ manual provides more sophisticated problems suitable for workshops or extended consideration in class at the professor’s discretion. Selected comparative law coverage deepens understanding through contrast with constitutional provisions from other countries and with international human rights treaties. Occasional sections highlight social justice in constitutional interpretation and doctrine to help students see things in cases that traditional focus on doctrine, interpretation, and political aspects may miss.


  • Aimed at demystifying constitutional law for novices learning the subject 
  • Short, clear hypotheticals help students confirm their ability to articulate the rules and then to apply them in a straightforward way 
  • Innovative presentation of black letter law first, followed by presentation of cases as examples of application of those rules and as vehicles to explore deeper themes
  • Case editing for particular educational purposes with some longer excerpts for some cases and more severe editing for others 
  • Comparative law contrasted with international human rights norms and constitutional provisions from other countries, including some of the United States’ constitutional provisions 
  • Discussion of the role (or lack thereof) of social justice in constitutional interpretation and doctrine
  • Comprehensive and complete teaching text both with respect to breadth of coverage and with respect to how the material is presented–it is not merely a collection of cases 
  • Strong organization informed primarily to make learning easier
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