The second part of this symposium has been devoted to how we teach the Constitution. It has emphasized what gets left out. The reader will see a pattern. Paul Finkelman is a leading scholar on the law of slavery and the Constitution. Paul thinks – and I believe he is correct – that the immense influence of slavery on American constitutional law is too often neglected in our constitutional law courses. James Wilson has studied how political philosophers – Aristotle, Rousseau, James Harrington, and others – have understood the distribution of wealth as a central factor affecting how the constitution of a nation actually works. Jim thinks that this important issue has been ignored in most constitutional law courses, and I think he is also right. I have devoted almost ten years to studying free speech struggles from 1798 to 1868 – how they shaped both our understanding of free speech and how they shaped section one of the Fourteenth Amendment as a free speech guarantee. I see that as a crucial part of the story that often gets left out. It is easy to dismiss my view as self-serving because, of course, it is.
Curtis, Michael Kent
"Teaching Free Speech from an Incomplete Fossil Record,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 34
, Article 8.
Available at: http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol34/iss1/8