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Since the first publication of Modern Constitutional Law a third of a century ago, it has continued to be one of the best sellers in a very competitive market. Over the years, many law professors have adopted this user-friendly casebook - which is no surprise, given the rave reviews that this book has enjoyed. For example, Professor Thomas E. Baker stated that he has "been so loyal to the Rotunda brand name over the years," because it "remarkabl[y]" manages "to include all the important cases yet preserves a fuller set of opinions to guarantee 'thoughtful classroom discussion’.” This Eleventh Edition incorporates the many changes in Constitutional law, such as new limits on the Commerce Clause and Spending Power, the Second Amendment, expanded Free Speech protections, and new limits on affirmative action, the President's executive power, and federal power to enforce voting rights.

In addition to the 11th Edition Standard Version, Rotunda now offers an Abridged Edition, particularly appropriate for those professors offering a shorter course. This abridged version covers most of topics of the expanded version but does not include topics that a shorter course would not normally include.

Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: American Casebook Series
Publication Date: 03/20/2015


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First, the book is shorter than the prior edition. Second, and more significantly, this revision incorporates some rather significant changes in the law. For example, the Supreme Court has-

  • For the first time, invalidated a law under the Spending Power,
  • Limited the reach of the Commerce Clause to reach inaction,
  • Invalidated Presidential appointments under the Recess Appointments Clause,
  • Incorporated the Second Amendment so that its protections extend to the states and cities, not merely the federal government
  • Upheld the power of the people of a state to impose state constitutional limits on affirmation action
  • Imposed important restrictions on federal power under the Fifteenth Amendment to oversee voting rights in order to protect racial minorities
  • Limited the standing of parties to object to tax credits that benefit religiously-affiliated schools, K through 12th Grade
  • Limited, under Free Speech, state power to require workers to subsidize union speech, to ban lies, in limit the political speech of corporations and unions
  • Allowed the federal government to criminalize "material support" for organizations that engage in terrorist activities, even when that support involves speech.

Learn more about this series.