Margaret Russell Publishes Book on Freedoms of Assembly and Petition

November 10, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Professor Margaret M. Russell has edited an anthology on the constitutional freedoms of assembly and petition. THE FIRST AMENDMENT: FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY AND PETITION has been published by Prometheus Books.

Publishers’ Note:
"This is the first anthology to focus exclusively on the fundamental constitutional freedoms of assembly and petition, and to analyze them as distinct foundational rights within the First Amendment. Editor and law professor Margaret M. Russell has selected authoritative articles that masterfully illuminate the origins, history, scope, and contemporary relevance of the right of the people to gather (assemble) in order to urge (petition) the government to address their concerns." This highly accessible and well-organized anthology should be read and appreciated by all who have an abiding interest in our basic constitutional rights."

From Margaret Russell’s Introduction to the Book:
"Of the forty-five words comprising the First Amendment, the least recognized…are the guarantees of its final section: the Assembly and Petition Clause. Case law construing the clause is remarkably thin; by comparison, US Supreme Court jurisprudence interpreting the Establishment, Free Exercise, Speech, and Press Clauses is voluminous. Before the 1980s, legal scholarship on the right to petition was nearly nonexistent; even now, legal scholarship on the right to assembly is sparse….[T]here is no major legal casebook that includes more than a brief mention of these core liberties. The Assembly and Petition Clause has not disappeared from the Bill of Rights; it has simply fallen from public, scholarly, and judicial attention."

The anthology includes articles from leading scholars in constitutional law (Erwin Chemerinsky, Akhil Reed Amar, Daniel Farber, David Cole); political theory (Amy Gutmann); immigration law (Michael Wishnie); sex discrimination (Deborah Rhode); and antitrust law (Raymond Ku). It is available from the publisher and from amazon.com