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Political Science Professor
Pens New Book

John Domino, associate professor of political science at Sam Houston State University, has finished a new book published by Longman Publishers titled, "Civil Rights and Liberties: in the 21st Century, Second Edition."

Book cover

The book is an up-to-date version of the first edition, published in 1994. Changes in national politics and the philosophical direction of the Court prompted Domino to write an updated version of the book. "Civil Rights and Liberties" is aimed at providing students with a modern analysis of landmark Supreme Court rulings.

"The purpose of the book is to undertake a compre- hensive analysis of the major Supreme Court rulings that have shaped the nature and scope of our civil rights and liberties," said Domino. "I focus on freedom of expression, freedom of and freedom from religion, the limits of sexually oriented expression, due process rights and criminal justice, privacy, and equal protection under the laws."

Domino, who has taught constitutional law at SHSU since 1990, said he wrote the book with the belief that "the key to understanding constitutional law is not so much knowing what the Court said in such and such case, but by asking the right questions and thinking critically about the Court's reasoning."

"More so than my other projects I have a emotional investment in the book as well, since it reflects the interactions and friendships that I have had with all of my constitutional law students here at SHSU over the past decade," said Domino.

The second edition also adds issues such as campaign finance reform, physician-assisted suicide, gays in the Boy Scouts, regulation of the Internet, and "partial-birth" abortions.

"One of the most challenging tasks of the project was providing a succinct yet readable account of one of the most complex and divisive opinions in the nation's history: Bush v. Gore," said Domino. "Even writing about the facts surrounding this incredible case was often daunting."

Mindful of the importance of online research, Domino added links at the end of each chapter that direct readers to where the full text of featured cases can be found online.

Domino uses the book in his classes at SHSU, but college students aren't the only ones who can learn from it.

"Obviously, my primary target audience is college students, but I made sure to write the book so that it would be useful and enjoyable to a broader audience such as professors, researchers, and the general public," said Domino. "Online booksellers have really expanded the audience for books of this kind."

Domino said he feels honored that a compnay with Longman's reputation wanted him to write a second edition of the book.

"It took me a while to agree to do a second edition because both the editor and I knew that given changing markets the book would have to be more comprehensive and more analytical than the first edition," he said. "But I believe that this edition is an improvement over the first, although I always worry that one of my constitutional law students will find a typo or misstatement somewhere in the text."

Domino received his Ph.D. in political science from Miami University in 1988, his master's in political science from Eastern Kentucky University in 1982, and his bachelor's in social science and education from Florida Atlantic University in 1979.

Domino has also published works on sexual harassment and affirmative action, as well as on court technology and the role of non-attorney judges in Texas.

In addition to his duties here at Sam Houston State, he has also served as an independent court management consultant, working with court administrators, judges, and court research personnel.

His memberships in professional organizations include: the American Political Science Association, the National Association of Court Managers, and the United States Supreme Court Historical Society.

The book is available for purchase at local bookstores, the publisher's website, as well as on

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SHSU Media Contact: Brandon Autrey
Sept. 9, 2002
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