The Reconstruction Amendments

The Reconstruction Amendments

Peter Nicolas, University of Washington School of Law


This textbook provides a comprehensive, case- and problem-based approach to studying the Reconstruction Amendments—the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution—with a particular focus on the Equal Protection and Due Process guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment.

By focusing exclusively on the Reconstruction Amendments, Professor Nicolas's textbook is comprehensive while at the same time being relatively compact and affordable. At approximately 700 pages in length, the book is designed to be taught easily from cover-to-cover in as few as three semester hours.

A significant feature of the textbook is its organization. Rather than being organized in strict topical form, the book is organized primarily in historical order, with the Court's earliest cases at the beginning and its most recent ones at the end. The book thus returns to each doctrinal principle multiple times in concert with doctrinal developments over time. This historical approach provides insight into how changes in the Court's composition and philosophy over time have impacted all aspects of rights-based constitutional law, and also provides students with multiple opportunities to be exposed to any given doctrinal principle.

Another key feature of the textbook is the inclusion of complex hypothetical problems. Drawing on the success of the problem-based approach to evidence law used in his popular evidence textbook, Professor Nicolas has created fifteen detailed problems that are designed to help students apply doctrinal principles to fact patterns for which they lack precedent.

An online supplement that includes the U.S. Supreme Court's most recent precedents will be updated regularly and made available free of charge to students and instructors alike.