American Constitutional Law : Introductory Essays and Selected Cases book cover
17th Edition

American Constitutional Law
Introductory Essays and Selected Cases

ISBN 9781138227835
Published July 27, 2017 by Routledge
756 Pages - 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This classic collection of carefully selected and edited Supreme Court case excerpts and comprehensive background essays explores constitutional law and the role of the Supreme Court in its development and interpretation. Well-grounded in both theory and politics, it endeavors to heighten students' understanding of and interest in these critical areas of our governmental system.

New to the 17th Edition

  • 9 new cases (including 2 cases from the 2015–2016 term decided by 8 justices) and discussion of 30 additional new cases.
  • New case highlights include Sebelius on Obamacare, Obergefell on same sex marriage, and 2 new cases on government surveillance.
  • Covers the death of Justice Antonin Scalia and ensuing controversies.
  • Updates every chapter-opening essay and end-of-chapter Selected Readings.
  • Provides an author-written online Instructor’s Manual with Test Bank, historical Supreme Court documents, noteworthy decisions and dissents, and cases from previous editions.

Table of Contents


Introduction: A Political Supreme Court

1. Jurisdiction and Organization of the Federal Courts

2. The Constitution, the Supreme Court, and Judicial Review

3. Congress and the President

4. Federalism

5. The Electoral Process

6. The Commerce Clause

7. National Taxing and Spending Power

8. Property Rights and the Development of Due Process

9. The Bill of Rights

10. Criminal Justice

11. Freedom of Expression

12. Religious Liberty

13. Privacy

14. Equal Protection of the Laws

15. Security and Freedom in Wartime

Appendix A: The Constitution of the United States Of America

Appendix B: Justices of the Supreme Court

Appendix C: Presidents and Justices

Appendix D: American Constitutional Development as Reflected in a Chronology of Cases Reprinted in This Book


Index of Cases

Index of Subjects and Names

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Alpheus Thomas Mason (late) was McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence Emeritus at Princeton University.

Donald Grier Stephenson, Jr. is Charles A. Dana Professor of Government at Franklin & Marshall College.


Praise for the 17th Edition

Mason and Stephenson’s American Constitutional Law remains the leader among single-volume undergraduate constitutional law casebooks. The new edition has beenupdated to cover cases through the most recent Supreme Court term as well as the Senate filibuster rule change on judicial nominations, the Senate stalemate following Justice Scalia’s death, and Court-related facets of the 2016 presidential election. The cases have been masterfully edited, and meticulously written introductory essays place them in their proper context. The engaging part of a course on constitutional law comes from the professor, not the textbook. But Mason and Stephenson certainly make the job easier.

Richard A. Glenn, Millersville University

With this new edition, Mason and Stephenson’s American Constitutional Law continues to be the gold standard. The book introduction immediately intrigues the reader and offers a rich historical background. The cases are thoughtfully selected, introduced with clear and engaging explanations.

Robert J. Bresler, Pennsylvania State University

In the new edition of American Constitutional Law, Mason and Stephenson provide an illuminating look into the institutional tensions inherent in the constitution. This single-volume introduction to Constitutional Law covers both the structure of government as well as the people's rights and liberties. By integrating the latest in Supreme Court politics and electoral politics, this text provides students with the latest perspectives on constitutional developments.

Kati Mohammad-Zadeh, University of Minnesota

Support Material


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