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SCOTUS Review: The Roberts Court and the First Amendment

(751 reviews)

Produced on September 11, 2017

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$ 89 Constitutional and Public Interest In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Constitutional Public Interest

Course Description

The 2016 -17 Term of the U.S. Supreme Court was not packed with blockbusters, but it included three First Amendment decisions of particular interest. In Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, the Court sought to clarify the line between speech and conduct in the context of the regulation of credit card surcharges; in Matal v. Tam the court struck down the Lanham Act’s “disparagement clause”; and in Packingham v. North Carolina, the Court set aside a state law that limited sex offenders access to websites on which children had accounts. In each of these 8-Justice decisions, the Court adopted a more speech-protective position and did so without dissent. On the other hand, in each decision, there were significant divisions among the justices as to rationale. This program, taught by Michael Herz of the Cardozo School of Law, will unpack the reasoning, premise, and implications of the three decisions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the reasoning and holdings of Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman, Matal v. Tam, and Packingham v. North Carolina
  2. Gain insight into the Roberts Court’s overall approach to First Amendment protections
  3. Consider what larger trends these three decisions illustrate and implications they may have for future litigation

Credit Information

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Michael Herz

Cardozo School of Law

Michael Herz is the Arthur Kaplan Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law, where he teaches and writes in the areas of Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, and Environmental Law. He joined the Cardozo faculty after working as a staff attorney at the Environmental Defense Fund. He spent two years as a law clerk to Associate Justice Byron R. White of the U.S. Supreme Court and also clerked for Chief Judge Levin H. Campbell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. He is a graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Chicago Law School.

Professor Herz was Cardozo’s Vice Dean from 2006 to 2009 and served as Senior Associate Dean from 1996 to 2000. For many years, he directed Cardozo’s Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy and he is currently co-director of the Israeli Supreme Court Project. Professor Herz is a former Chair of the ABA’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice and serves as a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States.


Ruth R.

A very fine review of three levels of scrutiny in deciding constitutional issues and, in fact, whether a specific case coming before the SCOTUS does in fact involve a constitutional question. I see there are numerous SCOTUS offerings in the Lawline curriculum, and I am glad to see that.

Mary B.

Great Great

Keith B.

Very excellent. Well done.

Susan L.


Keith H.

Very good lecturer. The slides were also readable.

Brett C.

Very clear and concise presentation.

Michael T.

Outstanding course, highly recommended.

Paul N.

One of your best presenters

Gregory N.

Very interesting presentation. Made a complex subject understood

Lauren N.

Great class - very interesting and well done!

Harrison S.

Presenter did a good job in analyzing recent 1st amendment Supreme Court decisions

Harry T.

Excellent presentation and contents

Michele K.

Thank you for the presentation. It is very interesting, some things that I had never thought about

Robert J.

Great speaker. Very scholarly, as expected. But a great program.

Victoria L. B.

Good presentation.

Steve S.

Very good course, well presented

Emma T.

Enjoyed this thoughtful course.

Steven K.

Fabulous professor. Made we want to take Con Law again with him teaching!

Cullen M.

Deep analysis of cases in conversational tone.

Geoffrey K.

Prof. Herz did a great job. I would certainly look in the future for other courses that he is teaching.

Julie S.

Great presentation

Michael W.

Great course

Ross L.

Great speaker

Charlotte J.

Great course.

Lisa W.

Excellent and interesting.

Patrick P.

great professor, great review of the law and material

Jean H.

Great presenter!!

Henry G.

Excellent course.

Stacy A.

Very nicely done, thank you.

Christopher B.

Professor Herz's analysis reminded me of how important the personalities on the court are. Thank you.

Bambi B.

Excellent presenter!

Mark R.

Good speaker.

Kristine C.

Highly engaging and knowledgeable speaker. Advanced course. Enjoyed it!! Highly recommend

Cynthia K.

This was an excellent presentation. Professor Herz is a charismatic teacher and explained everything fully. What I liked is hearing him analyze the approach of the Justices and also giving his own opinion. More courses from Professor Herz please!! He is easy to follow and understand.

Daniel P.

Good class, interesting topic.

Ronald B.

Best presentation that I have heard to date. This is what I really want from a CLE.

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