The Case for Including Marks v. United States in the Canon of Constitutional Law
17 Constitutional Commentary 321 (2000)
In this essay, I would like to suggest adding a single case, with appropriate commentary, to the canon of constitutional law, as presented in introductory casebooks. Specifically, I suggest including Marks v. United States, as a principal case, or in the form of a detailed summary, immediately before or after the first major plurality decision. I should note that the case is rather short – nine pages in the U.S. Reports – and that it nominally involves obscenity doctrine. I would suggest, counterintuitively perhaps, that the case is more fruitfully presented toward the beginning of an introductory course in constitutional law, to be cross referenced in the materials on the First Amendment, than the other way around.
17 Constitutional Commentary 321 (2000).