The principles of the Bill of Rights are timeless, but their interpretation and implementation must be updated constantly in a changing world. Eric Neisser shows how recent government actions and Supreme Court decisions threaten the spirit of liberty in this country. He challenges us to recapture that spirit by energetically ensuring fundamental rights for everyone in our society. A law professor, courtroom attorney, columnist, and civil rights advocate, Neisser knows what he is writing about. In clear non-technical language he presents intriguing cases and provocative arguments that will alternately enlighten, alarm, prod, and encourage all readers concerned with civil liberties as we enter the third century of the Bill of Rights. Following an overview of constitutional rights today, Recapturing the Spirit's essays focus on issues including free expression, privacy, discrimination, rights of the poor, the criminal process, and freedom of religion. Among the current controversies discussed are drug testing, flag burning, abortion, and the death penalty. A useful glossary helps untangle the legalese that obscures, more often than it illuminates, public debate. The foreword is written by Peter W. Rodino, Jr. , who was chair of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate crisis and a member of Congress for four decades.
Eric Neisser teaches constitutional law and litigation, criminal procedure, and court administration at Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey. Recently the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, Professor Neisser has handled civil liberties cases from the New Jersey Municipal Court to the United States Supreme Court. A frequent public speaker, from high schools and legislative committees to the Dick Cavett Show, Neisser has also taught at Stanford Law School and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Formerly director of the central legal staff of the largest federal appeals court in the country-the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco-Professor Neisser has written widely on constitutional issues, including a monthly column for the past five years entitled 'civil Liberties Today.'