The meaning of the First Amendment has changed markedly since its adoption. It was rarely invoked until the 20th century, when courts began to use it to protect dissenting speech. In the past few decades, the First Amendment has more often been used to protect commercial speech rights. This has occurred both in cases involving business activity and those involving political activity, such as Citizens United. This course reviews the history of the First Amendment and how it has changed. It provides a deeper analysis of recent First Amendment case law with an emphasis on corporate and campaign finance cases.
Brent Ferguson is Counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy program, where he works on the Money in Politics team. Before joining the Brennan Center, he clerked for Judge Michael Chagares of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Judge Jeffrey Miller of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Prior to his clerkships, he was a litigation associate at Dechert LLP. Brent graduated from Columbia University Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and served on the administrative board of the Columbia Law Review. He graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in political science.
This was an excellent course which provided a very thorough historical background.
Well organized and effective.
Well organized and focused presentation. Presentation was excellent.
Historical breakdown new compared to other commentators.
Interesting overview of commercial speech.
Very well organized! The presenter was easy to listen to.
This was so interesting that I wish that it had been longer!
Relevant, useful, timely, concise content captured in a crisp presentation accompanied by written materials conveniently punctuated with seminal First Amendment cases accompanied by their citations.
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