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Constitutional Law: Principles and Policies, 4th Edition (Aspen Student Treatise) Paperback – May 25, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0735598973 ISBN-10: 0735598975 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Series: Aspen Student Treatise
  • Paperback: 1440 pages
  • Publisher: Aspen Publishers; 4 edition (May 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735598975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735598973
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (141 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Erwin Chemerinsky is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Southern California Law Center.

Customer Reviews

It is a huge book, but very well organized and easy to follow.
Ty Hyderally
There is plenty of good explanations on the historical trends of the commerce clause, judicial powers, executive powers, the most important amendements, and many more.
David Reindl
This is a must have supplement for all students using Chemerinsky's Con Law text book.
Charles S. Propst Jr.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By 2L on October 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is probably the best money I spent my first year of law school. I am still using this book for Con Law II in my second year of school, and it is still just as invaluable to me. For Constitutional Law, canned briefs like legal lines do you no good. You need someone to spell out the principles and the analysis. No one does this as well as Chemerinsky. I could probably name at least 10 other students at school who ordered this book after they saw my copy. My text book for Constitutional Law is a piece of crap, and I would not learn anything if it were not for Chemerinsky. I have a different teacher for my second semester of Con Law, and he teaches verbatim from this book. My first Con Law professor was so impressed from a comment I made in class through something I had read in Chemerinsky that she came up to me after class and thanked me for helping further the class discussion. She was so impressed that I didn't want to tell her I was a fraud! I credit my final grade for Con Law I to Chemerinsky as well.

I know the price for this study aide is a little higher than some of the others, but you will get to use it for at least two semesters. I also heard it is helpful if you take a class on the First Amendment.

Other study aides I bought were barely opened. This one was read more than my text book!

(I never bother to write reviews. That is how pleased I am with how much this book helped me.)
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112 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Steve Sanders on April 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
A central problem with teaching law by the casebook method is that most students also need a clear, expert roadmap of how the cases fit together, and how a particular doctrine that emerges from a line of cases -- sometimes over a century or more -- has evolved, changed, and operates today. Outlines of the black letter law (e.g. Gilberts) aren't as useful for something doctrinal like con law. You want clear exposition in prose. You want concise descriptions of all the important cases and what they stand for. You want Chemerinsky.
All con law students should be grateful that one of the nation's leading Constitutional practitioners and professors has written this book. Its size is intimidating, but that's because it covers far more territory than the typical intro con law class. It's so well-done, though, that it's something serious students and lawyers will want on their bookshelves long after the first year -- as a supplement for advanced-topics classes, and as an essential reference work.
The book is well-organized in an outline format with headings and subheads, so you can easily follow the thread of complex doctrine over time, like the Commerce Clause, or across its varied applications, like Equal Protection. Chapters are thorough but well divided. The organization allows you to find exactly what you need and to zero in on a particular narrow point or case, or to read more expansively about a doctrine's development, change, and varied application. Chemerinsky's prose is neutral, straightforward, always clear. He's analytical but doesn't make arguments. You couldn't say his writing has personality, but it is quite readable.

This book is the con law supplement of choice at my school (Michigan). No one I know has regretted buying it.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Anneke H. Niemira on February 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
My Con Law prof is using Sullivan's "Constitutional Law" (14th Ed., University Casebook Series) as our textbook, and our entire class is overwhelmed by both the concepts and the density of the reading (it takes four hours to read 25 pages!).
Then I picked up this book by Chemerinksy, which recommended by our professor. It's /amazing/. We're working on the dormant commerce clause, and Chemerinsky sets out everything incredibly clearly, citing cases (rather than including the entire case itself) and setting out black letter law in an explanation of the Court's rulings. Everything is much easier to understand, and it's much easier to pick out the important issues in the textbook when I read the next assignment. I recommend reading Chemerinsky first, and the textbook second, so the rules pop out at you more readily.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By sal528 on January 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
This supplement is great for class preparation. It really explains everything well. My class did not use the Chemerinsky case book, but this supplement was still extremely helpful. It was organized by topic and I thought that was better for my learning. It is really easy to find specific cases too, as there is an index of cases in the back.

I read the supplement daily after my assigned reading, but before class. I found that I was much more engaged this way, and could participate in the discussion much more than when I didn't read the supplement. I recommend reading the supplement despite what you thought of a certain case; Often times, I thought I understood everything in the case and then Chemerinsky would elaborate on something I hadn't considered. I really think this book is essential for any introductory law school class on Constitutional Law. It is not a good book to buy right before finals though.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Seth Aaron Lowry on March 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
Chemerinsky has done a fine job of connecting the dots and making the ever-evolvong doctrines of American Constitutional jurisprudence understandable. The major weakness with most Con law books is that in focusing on individual cases, the student will often embroil himself or herself in the minutiae of individual cases while losing sight of the bigger picture. The glaring weakness of most commercial outlines is that the pendulum swings too far in the other direction; instead of focuing on individual cases, outlines give the bigger picture without providing enough context and specific information to truly inform the reader. That being said, Chemerinsky has found the perfect balance and his work suffers from neither of the aforementioned flaws. In the words of Goldilocks, Chemerinsky's treatment of Constitutional law is "just right."

Prof. Chemerisnky classifies the subject matter in this book according to general topics that any Con law student will recognize as the subject matter of a general Con law course. Yet, instead of of just providing a distilled outline analysis, Chemerinsky details a case-by-case analysis under each general topical heading and describes the major points and importance of the cases in a few paragraphs. Prof. Chemerinsky's case descriptions and analysis is extremely helpful and highlightss the most important and vital doctrines of the cases as it relates to the general topic being covered. These descriptions serve as a helpful supplement whne actually reading the cases themselves. Moreover, Chemerinsky masterfully ties all the applicable cases together and provides his own enlightening summary of how all the case law interacts so that the reader can understand where the law stands, and where the contours and lines have been drawn.
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