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The Schoolhouse Gate

The Schoolhouse Gate by Justin Driver
Sep 04, 2018 | 576 Pages
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    Sep 04, 2018 | 576 Pages

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    Sep 04, 2018 | 544 Pages

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The Schoolhouse Gate is the first book-length history of Supreme Court cases involving the constitutional rights of schoolchildren, a set of cases that, though often written about, have never before been written about all together, as if they constituted a distinct body of law.”
—Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

“Indispensable . . . bold and ultimately persuasive . . . astute . . . exquisitely well timed, given President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Kennedy . . . . Driver has performed a service in assembling the stories of so many important education cases in one encyclopedic, fair and elegantly written volume. It will remain on my desk for years to come.”
—Dana Goldstein, The New York Times Book Review 

“This meticulous history examines rulings on free speech, integration and corporal punishment to argue that schools are our most significant arenas of constitutional conflict.”
New York Times Book Review, Editors’ Choice

“A masterful analysis of the Supreme Court’s role in public school students’ constitutional rights…Driver’s book makes for especially timely and important reading.”
—Eloise Pasachoff, The Washington Post

“As Driver shows throughout, all Americans have a vested interest in what happens in our public schools. It is for that reason that this book is a must read not just for civil rights lawyers and law students, but for all who are involved in educating our children. It is poignant… sometimes funny… and always intellectually rigorous. In short, it is a powerful book that is needed now, as we grapple with the role and legitimacy of the Supreme Court.”
Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review

“Driver is an unabashed liberal who thinks the American judiciary has failed . . . . But The Schoolhouse Gate is a valuable volume even for those who do not share Driver’s politics. The book is a useful compiling of the school cases that have been the arena for much of our national discussion about religion, free speech, race, and privacy over the past hundred years. . . .  Always, somehow, our concerns about the clash of public order and individual rights become most pointed when the location is the American schoolhouse.”
Joseph Bottum, The Washington Free Beacon
“An important and delightfully crafted book.”
William Baude, The Volokh Conspiracy
Gregg Easterbrook, The Weekly Standard

“Engaging . . . Ambitious . . . Accessible . . . Excellent.”
—Shelf Awareness

“Justin Driver’s extraordinary book, The Schoolhouse Gate, deeply probes the many ways in which our constitutional law, as interpreted by America’s judges, shapes the crucial world of public education—but fails the students for whom that education exists. No one who cares about our nation’s children and thus our country’s future can afford not to read this riveting work.”
—Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law School, author of Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution
“Justin Driver has written the definitive account of the intersection of two of the nation’s most important institutions—public schools and the Constitution.  Race, sex, drugs, religion, free speech, and indoctrination—it’s all here.  Driver brings the cases to life with compelling portraits of the characters behind the disputes, while simultaneously providing incisive analysis of the role of the Constitution in the classroom.” 
—David Cole, Georgetown Law, ACLU National Legal Director, author of Engines of Liberty: How Citizen Movements Succeed 
“It’s pretty unusual to be moved to tears by a closely argued book on constitutional law.  But Driver’s The Schoolhouse Gate is a most unusual book.  Written with elegance and passion, Driver’s account of the role of the U. S. Supreme Court in defining the rights of students in our public schools is also an uncompromising work of meticulous scholarship, which will define our understanding of its topic for years to come. But there’s something more: there’s an indefinable quality of hope and love in this book, for our flawed yet aspiring processes of constitutional adjudication, as well as for the millions of children whose futures they shape.”
—Martha C. Nussbaum, University of Chicago, author of The Fragility of Goodness

“The Schoolhouse Gate is a gripping, comprehensive, and accessible analysis of the role of the Supreme Court in the regulation of student life in public primary and secondary schooling.  It bristles with insight and eloquence and substantiates Driver’s burgeoning reputation as a leading figure in legal academia.”
—Randall Kennedy, Harvard Law School, author of Race, Crime, and the Law
“What a wonderful, engaging, provocative book!  Justin Driver contends that federal courts have an essential role to play in expanding the constitutional rights of public school students.  Even readers who disagree with some of the book’s conclusions—like myself—and believe that school decisions should instead be left largely to school boards, superintendents, principals, teachers, and parents will be forced to grapple with the powerful historical and legal arguments advanced in this impressive volume.”
—Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, author of From Brown to Bakke

“In this sweeping, meticulous, and authoritative account, Justin Driver shows how the Supreme Court has long shaped the lives of students in American public schools, for better but also patently for worse—affirming their freedom of speech yet thwarting it, for example, and ending their separation by race in theory yet making that almost impossible to fulfill in many places throughout the USA. He shows how momentous rulings about education helped make the Court one of the nation’s most powerful institutions, yet politically driven and frustratingly fickle. The Schoolhouse Gate is an important, engrossing, and excellent book, by an important, gifted, and brave thinker and writer.”
Lincoln Caplan, Yale Law School, author of The Tenth Justice

Table Of Contents

Introduction 3

1. Early Encounters with Race, Culture, Religion, and Patriotism 29
2. Freedom of Expression from Black Armbands to BONG HiTS 4 JESUS 72
3. Suspensions, Corporal Punishment, and Intolerable “Zero Tolerance” Policies 141
4. Policing Student Investigations: Searching Students’ Bodies, Suspicionless Drug Testing, and Miranda Warnings 185
5. Equal Protection I: Racial Segregation and the Enduring Battle over Brown v. Board of Education 242
6. Equal Protection II: Funding Disparities, Sex Separations, and Unauthorized Immigration 315
7. The Quiet Détente over Religion and Education 362

Conclusion 423

Acknowledgments 431
Notes 435
Index 537 

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