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Constitutional Law (University Casebook Series) Hardcover – August, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1587787768 ISBN-10: 1587787768 Edition: 15th

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Product Details

  • Series: University Casebook Series
  • Hardcover: 1612 pages
  • Publisher: Foundation Press; 15 edition (August 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587787768
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587787768
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 7.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,108,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kathleen M. Sullivan is the Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and former Dean of the Stanford University School of Law.

Gerald Gunther is the late William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law Emeritus, Stanford University School of Law.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Chitown Reader VINE VOICE on May 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately, law school is not for everyone (see the reviews below). However, I would not lay the blame at the feet of what is an excellent casebook. If one is looking for a quick and shallow statement of the blackletter law then I recommend reading Emmanuel's (full disclosure: I was a paid reviewer for Emmanuel's). If you want to understand Constitutional Law without having to read the cases, then I highly recommend American Constitutional Law by Laurence Tribe, which is an excellent book in its own right, and I would strongly recommend it in addition to the Gunther and Sullivan casebook. However, it is necessary in order to gain a full understanding of the law to go through the process of case analysis.
This is especially true in the field of Constitutional Law. While it is perhaps possible for one to become an expert on the topic of Criminal Law or Torts on Emmanuel's alone, it is necessary to read the cases to fully understand Constitutional Law. This is because Constitutional law is composed of primarily three things: first, the text of the Constitution itself; second, historical documentation such as the Federalist Papers (I strongly recommend the Mentor edition); and third, the cases themselves, precedent. This is the stuff that con law is made of, Justice Brennan and the "spirit" of the Constitution notwithstanding.
If you have the capacity and the desire to learn constitutional law, I would strongly recommend purchasing this casebook. Gunther and Sullivan do an excellent job of structuring the cases, and the notes will probe and challenge your understanding of the material, and even provide a synopsis of the "law" in case you failed to read the case as thoroughly as perhaps you should have.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Yakov Zolotorev on February 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is as good a constitutional law casebook as it gets. Nobody ever said that this area of the law is even remotely clear and easily accessible. Gunther and Sullivan have managed to put together a comprehensive list of cases that does justice to the, sometimes, mind - boggling complexity of the law. Those that just want to get through law school will be satisfied reading Emanuels; those that are scholars of the law will enjoy the challenge of this casebook.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marty McCarthy VINE VOICE on January 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Profs Gunther and Sullivan's casebook is an excellent casebook for Constitutional Law which is a difficult area of law professors to teach and for law students to understand.
Pros: Good case edits; excellent, almost flawless treatment of materials up until the First Amendment materials; instructive, informative, and, at times, prophetic notes to the cases.
Cons: The First Amendment Section of the book (roughly the last 500 pages) suffers at times from a thematic layout that sometimes confuses the chronological timeframes; because of the formatting of the text, the notes that follow the case are sometimes difficult to distinguish from the cases themselves and/or note cases.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Wrench on May 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used this text in my first amendment class so I only read pp. 740 ish to the end of the text.

For the most part this is your standard Constitutional law text, with few principal cases, and pages after pages of note cases to follow. Unlike most law textbooks, Sullivan does a good job of doing what most law book don't do--she gets to the point and doesn't waste much time getting there. The material flows together quite nicely, although some the cases could have been edited better, as some of the editing leaves some important information, but all in all, if this is your con law text, then you shouldn't have too much trouble getting through it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a classic Law school Constitutional Law case book. It's very complete, with A LOT of cases, but some useful explanations and the latest development in constitutional history.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This version follows in the wake of a long tradition of excellence. This work began as an edited Con Law text, created by Noel Dowling, in 1937. In the 1960s, what had formerly been Dowling alone became Dowling and Gunther. As Gerald Gunther did more of the work, it became known as Gunther and Dowling (the way the authors were ordered when I first acquired a copy in graduate school). Later, Gunther became listed as the sole editor. Now, Kathleen Sullivan has stepped in to be listed as co-editor of this esteemed, long-lived volume.

And it continues to be one of the best texts in Constitutional Law. Several issues make this an excellent volume (especially for law school students). One, it covers a great deal of material. There are myriad cases (normally, nicely edited so that one gets a large number of cases--but for which there is enough of the Court's opinion to make the logic of the Justices intelligible).

Two, there is plenty of context provided for major cases. For instance, after the presentation of the Court's opinion in "Marbury v. Madison," there are a number of snippets exploring the history of judicial review, the controversy over the Court's claim that it could strike down laws as unconstitutional, and so on.

Three, after key cases, there are a host of follow up questions to get the reader thinking about the implications of the decision. These questions, themselves, are an important part of this (and many other) law school textbooks (whether Con Law, Environmental Law, Administrative Law, etc.).

Once more, this text is one more edition that contributes to the legacy of Noel Dowling's original volume, produced first back in the 1930s. After plowing through this fat volume, people who persevere will have a much more nuanced and intelligible understanding of the Constitution.
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