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Spring 2023

7397 WRS: Freedom of Speech and Social Media - DOW- 23894

Professor(s): David Dow (FACULTY)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Constitutional Law 
Law And Society/ Interdisciplinary

Time: 1:00p-2:30p  TTH  Location: 200 

Course Outline: This course will cover the Supreme Court's free speech and free press jurisprudence from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. The overarching theme will be to explore whether (and, if so, how) the emergence of social media, and the proliferation on online media and media platforms, require a fundamental rethinking of First Amendment jurisprudence.

In addition, we will examine whether various immunity doctrines should be shrunken (or expanded), and whether certain categories of speech (e.g., obscenity, hate speech, speech presenting a so-called clear and present danger) remain coherent and, if so, remain entitled to the same level of protection.

In addition to the writing requirement, grading will be based on student participation.

Course Syllabus: Syllabus

Course Notes: (Face-to-Face)  The UH registration system instruction mode for this course is listed in parenthesis. After student registration opens, there may be instruction mode changes to this course up through two weeks before the first day of classes for the term, but notice of such changes will be sent to then-registered students. For this instruction mode, instructors and students are expected to normally be physically present in the classroom. If the course has a final examination, it will be in a classroom requiring your physical presence. Other assessment, such as a mid-term exam, may also be in a classroom. Whether this instructor will offer "remote presence" (starting a zoom meeting from the podium computer to enable student remote access on an occasional basis) for part or all of the semester is not known, but students should not rely on an expectation that remote presence will be available.



First Day Assignments:

Final Exam Schedule:    

This course will have:

Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: Yes

Experiential Course Type: No

Bar Course: No

DistanceEd ABA: No

Pass-Fail Student Election: Unavailable (Instructor Preference)

Course Materials

Book(s) Required

Course Materials: The First Amendment -- Cases--Comments--Questions, 7th edition; Jesse H. Choper & Frederick Schauer; ISBN: 978-1642426854