William C. Banks Publishes Seventh Edition of Constitutional Law

Banks_Smolla_Constitutional_LawConstitutional Law: Structure and Rights in Our Federal System (7th Edition)
Eds. William C. Banks & Rodney A. Smolla
Carolina Academic Press, 2019

“Twenty-five years ago we set out to create a constitutional law casebook that teaches well,” write Professor Emeritus William C. Banks and Dean Rodney Smolla of Widener University Delaware Law School in the Preface to the seventh edition of Constitutional Law: Structure and Rights in Our Federal System (Carolina Academic Press, 2019). “We wanted to teach from a book that would engage students in learning basic constitutional law and would enable teachers to work with cases and problems relatively unencumbered by extensive secondary source materials and treatise-like notes.

“In preparing the seventh edition of our casebook, we have continued to develop the characteristics that distinguish our book from others. First, we continue to place heavy emphasis on the structure of government, the constitutional concepts of federalism, and separation of powers.”

Traditional in scope, with full coverage of separation of powers, federalism, and individual rights, Constitutional Law emphasizes structural issues more so than many other constitutional law casebooks. Individual rights are discussed in context and within chapters focusing on traditional doctrinal categories, such as economic and social rights, rights of conscience and expression, and rights in the public arena.

The seventh edition makes heavy use of contemporary constitutional conflicts to present in a vivid manner the cases and secondary material traditionally covered in comprehensive constitutional law courses, including case studies in issues such as gun control, problems on the special counsel investigation by Robert Mueller, the Supreme Court’s resolution of which branch controls recognition of Jerusalem in providing passports, and controversies surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

This edition also expands dramatically the coverage of the religion and speech clauses, so that the casebook is useable for comprehensive courses on the First Amendment at law schools that break out coverage of constitutional law into a basic course and a follow-up course on civil liberties or the First Amendment.

Chapters

  1. The Origins: “We the People”: Where Does Power Reside in Our Constitutional System?
  2. Separation of Powers: Constitutional Checks and Balances
  3. Federalism Limits on Federal Courts
  4. Federalism Limits on the Elected Branches and on the States
  5. Public and Private Domain
  6. Exclusion and Equal Protection
  7. Economic and Social Rights
  8. Religion
  9. Freedom of Speech and Association
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