Today was the first day of classes for my Spring course, Media Studies 104A. The course is full with a long wait list. I'm limiting the enrollment to 50 in the hope of putting in more hands-on help with student writing. I'm certainly unqualified to teach writing, but I'm certainly experienced in spotting bad writing, mostly by lawyers. The First Amendment content of course is always timely, especially as the politically conservative members of the Roberts Court appear to be "weaponizing" the amendment to serve a conservative agenda.
Yesterday was the first class for this fall's freshman seminar at Cal, The U.S. Supreme Court: A Critical Appraisal. The 16 students (that's all I could take) are great: engaged, eager, wanting to learn. I expect to learn a lot from them
Classes started today on my course at Cal, Freedom of Speech and the Press. The Chancellor declared this to be Free Speech Year at Berkeley, so the course is (as always it seems) timely. This year I include some new Supreme Court free speech decisions, and there are four more to come before June. Course is full with a long wait list.
My OLLI course on The Roberts Court and the First Amendment started yesterday at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley. Given the recent events in Berkeley and Charlottesville, the students are definitely tuned in to free speech issues. Here's a link to a preview of the course.
Today was the first class of my seminar on The U. S. Supreme Court: A Critical Appraisal. The students are great: lively, curious, articulate, poised, diverse. I'm going to have a good time learning from them as we read the Court's greatest hits, cases like Dred Scott, Brown v. Board, Korematsu, Roe v. Wade, etc.
The course I gave at the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco in the fall of 2016 was recorded and is now available as a "Frommcast." Here's the Link: http://fromm.enterprisetube.com/v/69524/Prof__Turner___The_First_Amendment
The course was in eight sessions of about an hour an a half each. Feel free to check it out.
I just published the First Edition of Free Speech: Supreme Court Opinions from the Beginning to the Roberts Court. I'll use it for my course at UCBerkeley this Spring, but it will be available nationally. It's a curated selection of the Supreme Court's decisions on free speech issues, with my commentary and analysis. It can be ordered directly from the publisher, Cognella, by going to https://students.universityreaders.com/store/
On October 1 I gave a talk at Cal's Homecoming on Sex and the Supreme Court, from the Warren Court to the Roberts Court. It was about the court's losing battle with obscenity and indecency. A sharp audience with a lot of good questions. I'm thinking about putting together a new course on Sex in the Supreme Court that would include not just sexual speech but gay rights, abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, crush videos and other sex-related legal controversies. Stay tuned.
Today was the first class in my new course at the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco. The course is The Roberts Court and the First Amendment. 218 students, all "career-free," engaged and wanting to understand Citizens United and what the court is doing these days about free speech. Class meets Tuesdays at 10:00 through November 1. All the lectures are being recorded and in January will be available as video "Frommcasts."
Tonight I was invited to speak to the Undergraduate Communications Association at Cal. They wanted to hear about issues at the intersection of law and journalism. So I talked about the KQED cases I did on whether there is a First Amendment right of access to government facilities and information, and televising executions. It brought back bittersweet memories. I suspect -- and hope -- some of them will show up in my course one of these years, to get the full story.
List of Appearances