The First Amendment's Forgotten Clauses
63 Journal of Legal Education 532 (2014)
23 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2013 Last revised: 8 Feb 2015
Date Written: April 11, 2013
Two books published in 2012 – Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly by John D. Inazu and Reclaiming The Petition Clause by Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Jr. – are devoted to explaining the final clauses of the First Amendment. They share a central complaint: namely, that current doctrine fails to give much independent force to either clause, instead channeling all inquiries into a speech clause that does not effectuate the distinct goals of the assembly and petition clauses. Yet the two books have curiously little to say to each other. The cases the authors cite and the slices of legal and social history they explore have almost no overlap.
This joint review (forthcoming in the Journal of Legal Education) describes the two books, identifying some of the more intriguing puzzles identified by each. It closes with some ideas about what it means for two nearly simultaneous books about “forgotten” clauses of the First Amendment to pass silently like ships in the night.
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