Telecommunications | Telecommunications & the Constitution
T650 | 25522 | McGregor, M.

Tel. T650  Telecommunications and the Constitution
Class number 25522
TR  9:30-10:45
Michael A. McGregor

Course Objectives

This course provides in-depth study of the constitutional
foundations of telecommunications law and policy in the United
States.  The course primarily focuses on the free speech and free
press clauses of the First Amendment to the United States
Constitution.  Much of the semester will be spent studying the
history of the free speech tradition, various philosophies about
what the First Amendment means, how the First Amendment applies to
the electronic media, and the government regulations and policies
that purport to promote First Amendment values.  Other
constitutional provisions affecting telecommunications law--most
notably the commerce clause and the copyright provisions of Article
I--will also be addressed.

The course is divided into four components.  The first component
introduces constitutional theory, the commerce clause, and the
philosophical development of freedom of speech and press. The second
major segment of the course focuses on the development of First
Amendment law and its specific application to the electronic media.
Diverse views on how to achieve First Amendment goals form the basis
for the third major section of the course.  The final section of the
course deals with constitutional issues of the digital age, most
notably privacy and copyright.

Class format

Most of the course will be conducted in a lecture/discussion
format.  The final portion of the course will be a seminar in which
students present and discuss their research with the class.

Students will be evaluated on discussion and a final paper.  The
paper written for this class should be suitable for presenting to an
appropriate conference.

Required Textbooks and Readings

1.  Emord, Freedom, Technology, and the First Amendment.  Pacific
Research Institute: San Francisco. 1991

2.  Coursepack

Other books will be assigned.