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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Sickness Unto Death Of The First Amendment, Marc O. Degirolami Jul 2019

The Sickness Unto Death Of The First Amendment, Marc O. Degirolami

Faculty Publications

The sickness unto death, in Søren Kierkegaard’s work of the same name, is the anxiety and despair an individual experiences in recognizing that the self is separated from what is collective, extrinsic, or transcendent. Something like this condition now afflicts the First Amendment. The sickness unto death of the First Amendment is that the spectacular success of free speech and religious freedom as American constitutional rights on premises of liberal, individual autonomy has been the very cause of mounting and powerful collective anxiety. The impressive growth of these rights has rendered them fragile, if not actually unsustainable, in their ...


Virtue, Freedom, And The First Amendment, Marc O. Degirolami Jan 2016

Virtue, Freedom, And The First Amendment, Marc O. Degirolami

Faculty Publications

The modern First Amendment embodies the idea of freedom as a fundamental good of contemporary American society. The First Amendment protects and promotes everybody’s freedom of thought, belief, speech, and religious exercise as basic goods—as given ends of American political and moral life. It does not protect these freedoms for the sake of promoting any particular vision of the virtuous society. It is neutral on that score, setting limits only in those rare cases when the exercise of a First Amendment freedom exacts an intolerable social cost. The Article concludes with two speculations. First, it seems we are ...


Inside Voices: Protecting The Student-Critic In Public Schools, Josie F. Brown Dec 2012

Inside Voices: Protecting The Student-Critic In Public Schools, Josie F. Brown

Faculty Publications

First Amendment doctrine acknowledges the constructive potential of citizens’ criticism of public officials and governmental policies by offering such speech vigilant protection. However, when students speak out about perceived injustice or dysfunction in their public schools, teachers and administrators too often react by squelching and even punishing student-critics. To counteract school officials’ reflexively repressive responses to student protest and petition activities, this Article explains why the faithful performance of public schools’ responsibility to prepare students for constitutional citizenship demands the adoption of a more receptive and respectful attitude toward student dissent. After documenting how both educators and courts have mistakenly ...


Contextualizing Disclosure's Effects: Wikileaks, Balancing And The First Amendment, Christina E. Wells Jan 2012

Contextualizing Disclosure's Effects: Wikileaks, Balancing And The First Amendment, Christina E. Wells

Faculty Publications

This essay responds to Professor Fenster’s article in the Iowa Law Review, Disclosure’s Effects: WikiLeaks and Transparency, assessing the effects of the recent WikiLeaks disclosures. The essay agrees with many of Professor Fenster’s conclusions regarding the promise and peril of those disclosures, especially his concern regarding the problematic balancing approaches used to assess the likely impact when confidential information is revealed. It specifically elaborates on courts’ current application of the Espionage Act, a criminal law likely to be applied to the WikiLeaks disclosures, and the implications of that deferential application for WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and journalists in ...


Penumbral Academic Freedom: Interpreting The Tenure Contract In A Time Of Constitutional Impotence, Richard J. Peltz-Steele Jan 2010

Penumbral Academic Freedom: Interpreting The Tenure Contract In A Time Of Constitutional Impotence, Richard J. Peltz-Steele

Faculty Publications

This article recounts the deficiencies of constitutional law and common tenure contract language - the latter based on the 1940 Statement of Principles of the American Association of University Professors - in protecting the academic freedom of faculty on the modern university campus. The article proposes an Interpretation of that common language, accompanied by Illustrations, aiming to describe the penumbras of academic freedom - faculty rights and responsibilities that surround and emanate from the three traditional pillars of teaching, research, and service - that are within the scope of the tenure contract but not explicitly described by it, and therefore too readily subject to ...


Authorship, Audiences, And Anonymous Speech, Thomas F. Cotter, Lyrissa Lidsky Jan 2007

Authorship, Audiences, And Anonymous Speech, Thomas F. Cotter, Lyrissa Lidsky

Faculty Publications

A series of United States Supreme Court decisions establishes that the First Amendment provides a qualified right to speak and publish anonymously, or under a pseudonym. But the Court has never clearly defined the scope of this right. As a result, lower courts have been left with little guidance when it comes to dealing both with the Internet-fueled growth of torts and crimes committed by anonymous speakers, and with the increasing number of lawsuits aimed at silencing legitimate anonymous speech. In this Article, we provide both positive and normative foundations for a comprehensive approach to anonymous speech. We first draw ...


Speech Showdowns At The Virtual Corral, Eric Goldman Jan 2005

Speech Showdowns At The Virtual Corral, Eric Goldman

Faculty Publications

INTRODUCTION

This article considers the tension between free speech rights and private property/contract rights. Neither free speech rights nor private property and contract rights are absolute. Where they intersect in the physical world, confusing legal doctrines usually emerge, such as the U.S. Supreme Court cases addressing private speech at privately owned company towns and shopping centers. Though a bright-line rule has emerged-the First Amendment pertains only to stateactors-the rule provides little prospective guidance because private actors can be characterized as state actors in some circumstances.

In the online world, the speech/rights dichotomy also raises complex issues. Online ...


Symbolic Counter-Speech, Howard M. Wasserman Jan 2004

Symbolic Counter-Speech, Howard M. Wasserman

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Hate Speech In The Constitutional Law Of The United States, William B. Fisch Oct 2002

Hate Speech In The Constitutional Law Of The United States, William B. Fisch

Faculty Publications

Our general reporter, Professor Pizzorusso, has given us “incitement to hatred” - primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like--as the working definition of “hate speech”, and asks to what extent such speech is constitutionally protected in the reporting countries. The United States of America are known at least in recent times for providing exceptionally broad protection for otherwise objectionable speech and expression, and hate speech is understood to be one of the areas in which they have positioned themselves further out on the speech-protective end of the ...


Silencing John Doe: Defamation And Discourse In Cyberspace, Lyrissa Lidsky Jan 2000

Silencing John Doe: Defamation And Discourse In Cyberspace, Lyrissa Lidsky

Faculty Publications

John Doe has become a popular defamation defendant as corporations and their officers bring defamation suits for statements made about them in Internet discussion fora. These new suits are not even arguably about recovering money damages but instead are brought for symbolic reasons — some worthy, some not so worthy. If the only consequence of these suits were that Internet users were held accountable for their speech, the suits would be an unalloyed good. However, these suits threaten to suppress legitimate criticism along with intentional and reckless falsehoods, and existing First Amendment law doctrines are not responsive to the threat these ...