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About Erwin Chemerinsky
Erwin Chemerinsky is the Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Prior to assuming this position he was the founding dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, and a professor at Duke Law School, University of Southern California Law School, and DePaul Law School. He is the author of 12 books and over 250 law review articles. He is a contributing writer for the Opinion section of the Los Angeles Times, and writes regular columns for the Sacramento Bee, the ABA Journal and the Daily Journal, and frequent op-eds in newspapers across the country. He frequently argues appellate cases, including in the United States Supreme Court.
In 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2017, National Jurist magazine again named Dean Chemerinsky as the most influential person in legal education in the United States. In January 2021, he was named President-elect of the Association of American Law Schools.
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An unprecedented work of civil rights and legal history, Presumed Guilty reveals how the Supreme Court has enabled racist policing and sanctioned law enforcement excesses through its decisions over the last half-century.
Police are nine times more likely to kill African-American men than they are other Americans—in fact, nearly one in every thousand will die at the hands, or under the knee, of an officer. As eminent constitutional scholar Erwin Chemerinsky powerfully argues, this is no accident, but the horrific result of an elaborate body of doctrines that allow the police and, crucially, the courts to presume that suspects—especially people of color—are guilty before being charged.
Today in the United States, much attention is focused on the enormous problems of police violence and racism in law enforcement. Too often, though, that attention fails to place the blame where it most belongs, on the courts, and specifically, on the Supreme Court. A “smoking gun” of civil rights research, Presumed Guilty presents a groundbreaking, decades-long history of judicial failure in America, revealing how the Supreme Court has enabled racist practices, including profiling and intimidation, and legitimated gross law enforcement excesses that disproportionately affect people of color.
For the greater part of its existence, Chemerinsky shows, deference to and empowerment of the police have been the modi operandi of the Supreme Court. From its conception in the late eighteenth century until the Warren Court in 1953, the Supreme Court rarely ruled against the police, and then only when police conduct was truly shocking. Animating seminal cases and justices from the Court’s history, Chemerinsky—who has himself litigated cases dealing with police misconduct for decades—shows how the Court has time and again refused to impose constitutional checks on police, all the while deliberately gutting remedies Americans might use to challenge police misconduct.
Finally, in an unprecedented series of landmark rulings in the mid-1950s and 1960s, the pro-defendant Warren Court imposed significant constitutional limits on policing. Yet as Chemerinsky demonstrates, the Warren Court was but a brief historical aberration, a fleeting liberal era that ultimately concluded with Nixon’s presidency and the ascendance of conservative and “originalist” justices, whose rulings—in Terry v. Ohio (1968), City of Los Angeles v. Lyons (1983), and Whren v. United States (1996), among other cases—have sanctioned stop-and-frisks, limited suits to reform police departments, and even abetted the use of lethal chokeholds.
Written with a lawyer’s knowledge and experience, Presumed Guilty definitively proves that an approach to policing that continues to exalt “Dirty Harry” can be transformed only by a robust court system committed to civil rights. In the tradition of Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law, Presumed Guilty is a necessary intervention into the roiling national debates over racial inequality and reform, creating a history where none was before—and promising to transform our understanding of the systems that enable police brutality.
Relied on by students, professors, and practitioners, Erwin Chemerinsky’s popular treatise clearly states the law and identifies the underlying policy issues in each area of constitutional law. Thorough coverage of the topic makes it appropriate for both beginning and advanced courses.
New to the Sixth Edition:
- New discussion of the Preamble to the Constitution in Ch. 1
- Discussion of many new cases throughout the book. Major new decisions include: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission; Gill v. Whitford; Zivotofsky v. Kerry; Lucia v. SEC; South Dakota v. Wayfair; Fisher v. University of Texas, Austin; Obergefell v. Hodges; Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt; Matal v. Tam; Williams-Yulee v. Florida State Bar; National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra; Janus v. American Federation; Town of Greece v. Galloway; and Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia v. Comer
- New materials on presidential power, immigration, and travel bans under the Trump administration, including IRAP v. Trump and Hawaii v. Trump
Professors and students will benefit from:
- Renowned authorship
- Examination of black-letter law and all the myriad issues of constitutional interpretation with unrivaled thoroughness and lucidity
- Excellent historical overview of the creation and ratification of the Constitution, examining the existential question of why we have a constitution
The purchase of this ebook edition does not entitle you to receive access to the Connected eBook with Study Center on CasebookConnect. You will need to purchase a new print book to get access to the full experience, including: lifetime access to the online ebook with highlight, annotation, and search capabilities; practice questions from your favorite study aids; an outline tool and other helpful resources.
A leading text by a prominent scholar, Constitutional Law is known for its concise, yet comprehensive presentation. Professor Chemerinsky’s distinctive approach for the Sixth Edition presents the law solely through case excerpts and his own essays. With the author’s context and background information, the law becomes more readily understood. A flexible organization accommodates a variety of course structures; no chapter assumes that students have read preceding material.
New to the Sixth Edition:
- New cases decided since the Fifth Edition, including those on partisan gerrymandering, the travel ban, state action, freedom of speech, and the religion clauses
- Significant reorganizations of some of the chapters (including chapters on federal limits on state power and the religion clauses)
Professors and students will benefit from:
- Renowned authorship
- Concise, yet comprehensive presentation
- Distinctive approach presents the law solely through case excerpts and author-written essays
- Straightforward, accessible writing style that provides context and background information for greater understanding
- Flexible organization—no chapter assumes that students have read the rest
- Cases and materials have been edited to be as ideologically neutral as possible
From the same author of the highly successful Constitutional Law, Sixth Edition, a leading casebook in the field, The First Amendment by Erwin Chemerinsky provides a comprehensive and accessible review of speech and religion jurisprudence under the First Amendment (Chapters 9 and 10 of Constitutional Law, Sixth Edition). With its concise, yet comprehensive presentation, The First Amendment presents the law solely through case excerpts and the author’s own essays, which make the law more readily understood through context and background information. The text’s flexible organization accommodates a variety of course structures so that no chapter assumes that students have read preceding material.
New to the Second Edition:
- Important new free speech cases, especially Janus v. American Federation and NIFLA v. Becerra
- Updated with cases through the October 2019 Term, including Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue
Professors and student will benefit from:
- Concise, yet comprehensive presentation
- Annual case supplement
- Leading text by a prominent scholar
- Flexible organization—no chapter assumes students have read other chapters, which allows for a variety of course lengths and structures
- Distinctive approach using only case excerpts and author’s own essays
- Context and background material to make the law more readily understood
In the Eighth Edition of Federal Jurisdiction, luminary author Erwin Chemerinsky unpacks the black letter law and underlying policy issues of his subject with the clarity and penetrating insight for which he is renowned. An accessible and thorough exposition of the laws, issues, and policies that determine the jurisdiction of federal courts— students know they can rely on Federal Jurisdiction, Eighth Edition to inform and enrich their understanding of the cases and materials covered in this course.
New to the Eighth Edition:
- Political question doctrine after Rucho v. Common Cause (partisan gerrymandering)
- Sovereign immunity after Franchise Tax Board v. Hyatt and Cooper v. Allen
- Developments in suing government officers, especially qualified immunity
- New limits on Bivens suits
Professors and students will benefit from:
- Thorough updating of every aspect of the book
Most Americans share the perception that the Supreme Court is objective, but Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the country’s leading constitutional lawyers, shows that this is nonsense and always has been. The Court is made up of fallible individuals who base decisions on their own biases. Today, the Roberts Court is promoting a conservative agenda under the guise of following a neutral methodology, but notorious decisions, such as Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United, are hardly recent exceptions. This devastating book details, case by case, how the Court has largely failed throughout American history at its most important tasks and at the most important times.
Only someone of Chemerinsky’s stature and breadth of knowledge could take on this controversial topic. Powerfully arguing for term limits for justices and a reassessment of the institution as a whole, The Case Against the Supreme Court is a timely and important book that will be widely read and cited for decades to come.
Hardly a week goes by without another controversy over free speech on college campuses. On one side, there are increased demands to censor hateful, disrespectful, and bullying expression and to ensure an inclusive and nondiscriminatory learning environment. On the other side are traditional free speech advocates who charge that recent demands for censorship coddle students and threaten free inquiry. In this clear and carefully reasoned book, a university chancellor and a law school dean—both constitutional scholars who teach a course in free speech to undergraduates—argue that campuses must provide supportive learning environments for an increasingly diverse student body but can never restrict the expression of ideas. This book provides the background necessary to understanding the importance of free speech on campus and offers clear prescriptions for what colleges can and can’t do when dealing with free speech controversies.
"This work will become the defining text on progressive constitutionalism — a parallel to Thomas Picketty’s contribution but for all who care deeply about constitutional law. Beautifully written and powerfully argued, this is a masterpiece." --Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School, and author of Free Culture
Worried about what a super conservative majority on the Supreme Court means for the future of civil liberties? From gun control to reproductive health, a conservative court will reshape the lives of all Americans for decades to come. The time to develop and defend a progressive vision of the U.S. Constitution that protects the rights of all people is now.
University of California Berkeley Dean and respected legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky expertly exposes how conservatives are using the Constitution to advance their own agenda that favors business over consumers and employees, and government power over individual rights.
But exposure is not enough. Progressives have spent too much of the last forty-five years trying to preserve the legacy of the Warren Court’s most important rulings and reacting to the Republican-dominated Supreme Courts by criticizing their erosion of rights—but have not yet developed a progressive vision for the Constitution itself. Yet, if we just look to the promise of the Preamble—liberty and justice for all—and take seriously its vision, a progressive reading of the Constitution can lead us forward as we continue our fight ensuring democratic rule, effective government, justice, liberty, and equality.
Includes the Complete Constitution and Amendments of the United States of America
The Supreme Court’s decisions on constitutional rights are well known and much talked about. But individuals who want to defend those rights need something else as well: access to courts that can rule on their complaints. And on matters of access, the Court’s record over the past generation has been almost uniformly hostile to the enforcement of individual citizens’ constitutional rights. The Court has restricted who has standing to sue, expanded the immunity of governments and government workers, limited the kinds of cases the federal courts can hear, and restricted the right of habeas corpus. Closing the Courthouse Door, by the distinguished legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, is the first book to show the effect of these decisions: taken together, they add up to a growing limitation on citizens’ ability to defend their rights under the Constitution. Using many stories of people whose rights have been trampled yet who had no legal recourse, Chemerinsky argues that enforcing the Constitution should be the federal courts’ primary purpose, and they should not be barred from considering any constitutional question.
As a result of political pressure from conservatives and a series of Supreme Court decisions, our public schools are increasingly separate and unequal, to the great disadvantage of poor and minority students. Right-wing politicians and justices are dismantling the wall separating church and state, allowing ever greater government support for religion. With the blessing of the Supreme Court, absurdly harsh sentences are being handed down to criminal defendants, such as life sentences for shoplifting and other petty offenses. Even in death penalty cases, defendants are being denied the right to competent counsel at trial, and as a result innocent people have been convicted and sentenced to death. Right-wing politicians complain that government is too big and intrusive while at the same time they are only too happy to insert the government into the most intimate aspects of the private lives of citizens when doing so conforms to conservative morality. Conservative activist judges say that the Constitution gives people an inherent right to own firearms but not to make their own medical decisions. In some states it is easier to buy an assault rifle than to obtain an abortion.
Nowhere has the conservative assault on the Constitution been more visible or more successful than in redefining the role of the president. From Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, conservatives have sought to significantly increase presidential power. The result in recent years has been unprecedented abuses, including indefinite detentions, illegal surveillance, and torture of innocent people.
Finally, access to the courts is being restricted by new rulings that deny legal protections to ordinary Americans. Fewer lawsuits alleging discrimination in employment are heard; fewer people are able to sue corporations or governments for injuries they have suffered; and even when these cases do go to trial, new restrictions limit damages that plaintiffs can collect.
The first step in reclaiming the protections of the Constitution, says Chemerinsky, is to recognize that right-wing justices are imposing their personal prejudices, not making neutral decisions about the scope of the Constitution, as they claim, or following the "original meaning" of the Constitution. Only then do we stand a chance of reclaiming our constitutional liberties from a rigid ideological campaign that has transformed our courts and our laws. Only then can we return to a constitutional law that advances freedom and equality.
New to the 2020 Edition:
Decisions concerning subpoenas of financial information pertaining to President Trump (Trump v. Vance and Trump v. Mazars USA)
Decision concerning constitutionality of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)
Decision concerning Louisiana restriction on abortion (June Medical Center v. Russo)
Decisions concerning free exercise of religion (Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue; Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey Beru)