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Faculty Profiles

Michael Curtis

Michael Curtis

Judge Donald L. Smith Professor in Constitutional and Public Law

Phone: 336.758.5714
Location: Worrell 3332


  • Free Speech: The People's Darling Privilege: Struggles for Freedom of Expression in American History (Duke Univ. Press, Nov. 2000). Winner of the N. C. Literary and Historical Society's 2001 Mayflower Cup Award for the best non-fiction book by a North Carolina author.  Selected by an Independent panel of judges as the Winner of the 2001 Playboy Foundation Heffner First Amendment Award for the best book of the year on the subject of the 1st Amendment. (Judges include 1st Amendment Attorney and author Floyd Abrams and Professor Robert O'Neil of the Univ. of Virginia Law School, Founding Director of the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression.) Selected comments on the book are included below.
  • No State Shall Abridge: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights, Duke University Press (1986); for selected reviews of No State Shall Abridge, see 101 Harvard Law Review 869-873 (1988), 85 Michigan Law Review 1118-92 (1987), 81 American Political Science Review 278-279 (1987). The book was described by Professor Akhil Amar of Yale Law School as "one of the most important and most impressive works of constitutional scholarship of the late twentieth century." In the Bimonthly Review of Law Books (March-April 2001), Professor Michael Gerhardt (then at William and Mary School of Law (now at UNC Law School) named it as one of the five law books every law student should read.
  • Michael Kent Curtis, J. Wilson Parker, Davison Douglas, and Paul Finkelman, Constitutional Law in Context (Carolina Academic Press, 2d ed. 2006), a constitutional law casebook with additional historical context.
  • Annual Supplement to Constitutional Law in Context.
  • Editor, The Constitution and the Flag: Vol. 1, The Flag Salute and Vol. 2, Flag Burning (Garland Press 1993). (Articles, Cases, and Materials on the flag salute and flag burning controversies with an introduction by Michael Kent Curtis.)

Contributions to books

  • Book chapter, "Democratic Ideas and Media Realities: A Puzzling Free Press Paradox," in Free Speech (Cambridge Univ. Press 2004, Paul, Miller, and Paul eds.)
  • Book chapter in The Law of Slavery, Madison House Publisher (1997): "The 1859 Crisis over Hinton Helper's Book The Impending Crisis: Slavery, Free Speech, and the Meaning of the First Section of the Fourteenth Amendment," a condensed version of the article that appears below.
  • "Reading the First Amendment by the Light of the Burning Flag," introduction to 1 The Constitution and the Flag.


Encyclopedia articles

  • Articles on Barron v. Baltimore and Saenz v. Roe in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States, (2008).
  • Article on the Alien and Sedition Acts in Milestone Documents in American History, (2008).
  • Articles on "Incorporation Doctrine" and the "Fourteenth Amendment," in the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court, (2005).
  • "Slavery and Civil Liberties," Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, 2424 (2d ed. 2000).
  • Articles on "Barron v. Baltimore," pp. 25-27 and "Incorporation of the Bill of Rights and the Religion Clauses," 236-39. Encyclopedia of Law and Religion, Paul Finkelman, ed., (2000).
  • Essays on "Incorporation Doctrine and Original Intent" at 1356 and "Fourteenth Amendment, Section 5" at 1087 in Encyclopedia of American Constitution (2d ed. 2000).
  • "Albion Tourgee," 21 American National Biography 769 (1999).
  • "The Fourteenth Amendment (Enactment)," in The Constitution and Its Amendments (1999).
  • Essays on the "Fourteenth Amendment" and "The Incorporation Doctrine" in The Oxford Companion to The Supreme Court of the United States (1993).

Symposium articles

Book Reviews