First Amendment Rights

An Encyclopedia

by Nancy S. Lind and Erik T. Rankin


First Amendment Rights have been a controversial topic for decades in the United States. Are the Supreme Court interpretations of these rights declining or strengthening over time? And is Chief Justice John Roberts pro- or anti-free speech in America?

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Cover image for First Amendment Rights

November 2012


Pages 783
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/Human Rights and Civil Liberties

This two-volume work addresses every key, cutting-edge issue regarding the First Amendment, including subjects such as freedom of religion, freedom of press, freedom of speech, and freedom of organization.

First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia provides both historical information and current, 21st-century topics in First Amendment issues. Volume 1 addresses the subject through the lens of past decisions and precedent, updated to include controversies between new social media and civil liberties. Volume 2 examines the current state of First Amendment rights, addressing the changes in interpretations of the First Amendment by the Roberts Court as well as in-vogue issues such as Occupy Movements as well as student rights and responsibilities in freedom of religion and speech cases. Key cases are highlighted throughout the text to further comprehension of the underlying issues and subtle complexities.

The information is presented so that readers can examine cases in the Roberts court and draw their own conclusions. Coverage is also provided of the challenges and opportunities that arise with the adoption of new technologies and their impact on the interpretations of the First Amendment.


  • Contributions from 20 academicians and practitioners
  • Several court case highlights
  • A complete bibliography and a chapter-by-chapter glossary


  • Incorporates 2011–2012 issues on the First Amendment
  • Includes freedom of speech and religion issues for students as well as coverage of occupy movements as challenges to free speech
  • Provides different treatments for political speech vs. corporate speech
Author Info

Nancy S. Lind, PhD, is professor of political science at Illinois State University, Normal, IL. Her published works include Greenwood's Presidents from Reagan through Clinton, 1981–2001: Debating the Issues in Pro and Con Primary Documents and Controversies of the George W. Bush Presidency: Pro and Con Documents, as well as Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy: Right versus Left . She holds a doctorate from University of Minnesota.

Erik T. Rankin is assistant to the Department Chair at Illinois State University, Normal, IL. He holds master's degrees from Illinois State University and George Washington University. His published works includes The Politics of Illinois.



"[H]ighly recommend[ed] . . . for all academic libraries. It provides a thorough overview of the intent and application of the First Amendment over time, as well as excellent coverage of the broad range of contemporary issues that are affected by the way in which the Supreme Court continues to interpret it in relation to a changing world."—Reference Reviews

"For libraries looking to update their collections, this is an excellent source and a solid introduction for students from high school to college level. Highly recommended."—Choice

"These volumes, intended primarily for the legal community, will help readers understand both the historical precedents and contemporary status of First Amendment jurisprudence and provide a foundation for further research."—Library Journal

"First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia provides a lot of information in a very compact and readable format."—Booklist

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