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Full-Text Articles in Law

Verses Turned To Verdicts: Ysl Rico Case Sets A High-Watermark For The Legal Pseudo-Censorship Of Rap Music, Nabil Yousfi Jan 2024

Verses Turned To Verdicts: Ysl Rico Case Sets A High-Watermark For The Legal Pseudo-Censorship Of Rap Music, Nabil Yousfi

Seattle University Law Review

Whichever way you spin the record, rap music and courtrooms don’t mix. On one side, rap records are well known for their unapologetic lyrical composition, often expressing a blatant disregard for legal institutions and authorities. On the other, court records reflect a Van Gogh’s ear for rap music, frequently allowing rap lyrics—but not similar lyrics from other genres—to be used as criminal evidence against the defendants who authored them. Over the last thirty years, this immiscibility has engendered a legal landscape where prosecutors wield rap lyrics as potent instruments for criminal prosecution. In such cases, color-blind courts neglect that rap …


Courting Censorship, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2024

Courting Censorship, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

Has Supreme Court doctrine invited censorship? Not deliberately, of course. Still, it must be asked whether current doctrine has courted censorship — in the same way one might speak of it courting disaster.

The Court has repeatedly declared its devotion to the freedom of speech, so the suggestion that its doctrines have failed to block censorship may seem surprising. The Court’s precedents, however, have left room for government suppression, even to the point of seeming to legitimize it.

This Article is especially critical of the state action doctrine best known from Blum v. Yaretsky. That doctrine mistakenly elevates coercion …


Book Challenges Popping Up All Over: What Do School Principals Need To Know?, Samantha Laine Hull, Sue Kimmel Jan 2024

Book Challenges Popping Up All Over: What Do School Principals Need To Know?, Samantha Laine Hull, Sue Kimmel

STEMPS Faculty Publications

This chapter provides practical advice and reasons for school leaders to support students' intellectual freedom through their support of school libraries and school librarians. The chapter begins with a short but critical literature review that includes case law on the topic of censorship in schools. The concerns of teachers and librarians from a recent study are summarized and help build the foundation for practical and ready to use advice for any school leaders to uphold the intellectual freedom of all students.


Section 230 As Civil Rights Statute, Enrique Armijo Dec 2023

Section 230 As Civil Rights Statute, Enrique Armijo

University of Cincinnati Law Review

Many of our most pressing discussions about justice, progress, and civil rights have moved online. Activists advocating for social change no longer need to be in the same physical space to connect with others who share their challenges and aspirations. But the convergence of mobility, connectivity, and technology is not the only reason why. Thanks to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act’s (“Section 230”) immunity for online platforms, websites, and their hosts, speakers can engage in speech about protest, equality, and dissent without fear of collateral censorship from governments, authorities, and others in power who hope to silence them. …


Serious Value, Prurient Appeal, And "Obscene" Books In The Hands Of Children, Todd E. Pettys May 2023

Serious Value, Prurient Appeal, And "Obscene" Books In The Hands Of Children, Todd E. Pettys

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

Controversy has erupted across the country concerning sexually explicit books that are available to children in bookstores, schools, and libraries. Many have called for tough enforcement of obscenity laws, with some saying librarians and schoolteachers who distribute certain books to children should face jail time. Using four controversial books as examples, this Article takes today’s book wars as an opportunity to achieve two things. First, the Article explains the narrow circumstances in which the First Amendment permits the government to block the distribution of books to children due to concerns about the books’ prurient appeal. The Article’s second aim is …


Levels Of Free Speech Scrutiny, Alexander Tsesis Apr 2023

Levels Of Free Speech Scrutiny, Alexander Tsesis

Indiana Law Journal

Inconsistencies abound throughout current exacting, strict, and most exacting scrutiny doctrines. Formalism also runs throughout recent cases that have opportunistically relied on the First Amendment in matters peripherally concerned with core principles of free speech. Jurisprudence that relies on the exacting scrutiny standard remains significantly under-theorized. The uncertainty creates doctrinal flux that shifts from case-to-case. The same unexplained malleability appears in the most exacting scrutiny jurisprudence. The Court, moreover, sometimes refers to these two standards as equivalent to strict scrutiny. On the other hand, during the last decade, and most recently in 2021, various opinions have also used exacting scrutiny …


The Censorship Constraint And Rulemaker State Action: Are Section 230'S Immunity Provisions Unconstitutional Content-Based Regulations?, Scot A. Reader Mar 2023

The Censorship Constraint And Rulemaker State Action: Are Section 230'S Immunity Provisions Unconstitutional Content-Based Regulations?, Scot A. Reader

West Virginia Law Review

Even casual watchers of T.V. crime dramas understand the Fourth Amendment’s exclusionary rule. Under this rule, evidence obtained by the police in a search of a criminal suspect’s premises that exceeds the scope of a judicial warrant is almost always inadmissible in the suspect’s criminal trial. The rule is designed to deter unreasonable governmental intrusion into private affairs and applies without regard for the suspect’s guilt or innocence. This Article proposes that the First Amendment includes an analogous rule against governmental censorship. Under this rule, content-based speech regulations exceed the legislature’s speech rulemaking warrant and are almost always invalid. This …


Reconciling Self-Censorship: A Qualitative Study Of The Experiences Of University Staff And Administrators, Leigh C. Morales Dec 2022

Reconciling Self-Censorship: A Qualitative Study Of The Experiences Of University Staff And Administrators, Leigh C. Morales

Doctoral Dissertations

In addition to a global pandemic, the past three years have been marked by racial, social, and political unrest. These circumstances add meaningful context to examine and better understand factors that undermine free expression and contribute to self-censorship among university staff and administrators. To date, few studies have holistically explored the unique experiences of university staff and administrators with self-censorship and how this phenomenon affects their experience on college and university campuses. Understanding why staff and administrators choose to self-censor may allow for a deeper discussion about speech climate and the degree to which colleges and universities implement and uphold …


Understanding Chilling Effects, Jonathon Penney Jan 2022

Understanding Chilling Effects, Jonathon Penney

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

With digital surveillance and censorship on the rise, the amount of data available online unprecedented, and corporate and governmental actors increasingly employing emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and facial recognition technology (FRT) for surveillance and data analytics, concerns about “chilling effects”, that is, the capacity for these activities “chill” or deter people from exercising their rights and freedoms have taken on greater urgency and importance. Yet, there remains a clear dearth in systematic theoretical and empirical work point. This has left significant gaps in understanding. This article has attempted to fill that void, synthesizing theoretical and empirical …


The First Amendment And The Roots Of Lgbt Rights Law: Censorship In The Early Homophile Era, 1958-1962, Jason M. Shepard Jul 2020

The First Amendment And The Roots Of Lgbt Rights Law: Censorship In The Early Homophile Era, 1958-1962, Jason M. Shepard

William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Long before substantive due process and equal protection extended constitutional rights to homosexuals under the Fourteenth Amendment, in three landmark decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States, First Amendment law was both a weapon and shield in the expansion of LGBT rights. This Article examines constitutional law and “gaylaw” from the perspective of its beginning, through case studies of One, Inc. v. Olesen (1958), Sunshine Book Co. v. Summerfield (1958), and Manual Enterprises, Inc. v. Day (1962). In protecting free press rights of sexual minorities to use the U.S. mail for mass communications, the Warren Court’s liberalization of …


New Media, Free Expression, And The Offences Against The State Acts, Laura K. Donohue Mar 2020

New Media, Free Expression, And The Offences Against The State Acts, Laura K. Donohue

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

New media facilitates communication and creates a common, lived experience. It also carries the potential for great harm on an individual and societal scale. Posting integrates information and emotion, with study after study finding that fear and anger transfer most readily online. Isolation follows, with insular groups forming. The result is an increasing bifurcation of society. Scholars also write about rising levels of depression and suicide that stem from online dependence and replacing analogical experience with digital interaction, as well as escalating levels of anxiety that are rooted in the validation expectation of the ‘like’ function. These changes generate instability …


Congress, The Internet, And The Intractable Pornography Problem: The Child Online Protection Act Of 1998, Timothy Zick Sep 2019

Congress, The Internet, And The Intractable Pornography Problem: The Child Online Protection Act Of 1998, Timothy Zick

Timothy Zick

No abstract provided.


Indecency Regulation Of The Fcc And Censorship Law In Republic Korea: Comparison And Contrasts, Min-Soo "Minee" Roh Jul 2019

Indecency Regulation Of The Fcc And Censorship Law In Republic Korea: Comparison And Contrasts, Min-Soo "Minee" Roh

Upper Level Writing Requirement Research Papers

Regulating music on radio or television is not a straightforward process, as the music is comprised of lyrics of words. On top of the lyrics, any music performance has an additional layer of choreography and dress code. If any individual elements or combined elements is obscene or indecent, the government attempts to regulate broadcasting both music and performance. This leads to regulating general speech on communications and it requires this paper to look into regulation of broadcasting in general and specific examples of music broadcasting regulation on radio and television, particularly, in the United States (“States”) and in Republic of …


Whose Market Is It Anyway? A Philosophy And Law Critique Of The Supreme Court’S Free-Speech Absolutism, Spencer Bradley Jan 2019

Whose Market Is It Anyway? A Philosophy And Law Critique Of The Supreme Court’S Free-Speech Absolutism, Spencer Bradley

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

In the wake of Charlottesville, the rise of the alt-right, and campus controversies, the First Amendment has fallen into public scrutiny. Historically, the First Amendment’s “marketplace of ideas” has been a driving source of American political identity; since Brandenburg v. Ohio, the First Amendment protects all speech from government interference unless it causes incitement. The marketplace of ideas allows for the good and the bad ideas to enter American society and ultimately allows the people to decide their own course.

Yet, is the First Amendment truly a tool of social progress? Initially, the First Amendment curtailed war-time dissidents and …


Justice Anthony Kennedy's Free Speech Legacy [Comments], Nadine Strossen Jan 2019

Justice Anthony Kennedy's Free Speech Legacy [Comments], Nadine Strossen

Articles & Chapters

Justice Kennedy has been hailed by free speech advocates as a leading free speech champion. In contrast, other experts have not only criticized particular opinions and votes by Justice Kennedy that rejected free speech claims, but they also have maintained that Justice Kennedy specifically declined to protect speech that was at odds with his conservative political and religious views. It is certainly true that Justice Kennedy did not uphold freedom of speech in some important contexts, including when the Government asserted countervailing national security or "War on Drugs" concerns. However, in other important cases, Justice Kennedy showed courage in defending …


Suppression Of Free Tweets: How Packingham Impacts The New Era Of Government Social Media And The First Amendment, Elise Berry Jun 2018

Suppression Of Free Tweets: How Packingham Impacts The New Era Of Government Social Media And The First Amendment, Elise Berry

ConLawNOW

As social media popularity grows, so too does the constitutional conflicts between the First Amendment’s public forum doctrine and a public official’s social media. More and more claims of viewpoint discrimination are arising from the district courts, stemming from a public official’s use of his or her social media to delete comments or ban users from their official social media pages. Similarly, President Donald Trump’s use of his Twitter has also instigated a law suit against him for viewpoint discrimination under the public forum doctrine. While the Supreme Court has been silent on the issue, its decision in Packingham v. …


We’Ve Come A Long Way (Baby)! Or Have We? Evolving Intellectual Freedom Issues In The Us And Florida, L. Bryan Cooper, A.D. Beman-Cavallaro May 2018

We’Ve Come A Long Way (Baby)! Or Have We? Evolving Intellectual Freedom Issues In The Us And Florida, L. Bryan Cooper, A.D. Beman-Cavallaro

Works of the FIU Libraries

This paper analyzes a shifting landscape of intellectual freedom (IF) in and outside Florida for children, adolescents, teens and adults. National ideals stand in tension with local and state developments, as new threats are visible in historical, legal, and technological context. Examples include doctrinal shifts, legislative bills, electronic surveillance and recent attempts to censor books, classroom texts, and reading lists.

Privacy rights for minors in Florida are increasingly unstable. New assertions of parental rights are part of a larger conservative animus. Proponents of IF can identify a lessening of ideals and standards that began after doctrinal fruition in the 1960s …


Combatting Institutional Censorship Of College Journalists: The Need For A "Tailored Public Forum" Category To Best Protect Subsidized Student Newspapers, Nicole Comparato Mar 2017

Combatting Institutional Censorship Of College Journalists: The Need For A "Tailored Public Forum" Category To Best Protect Subsidized Student Newspapers, Nicole Comparato

University of Miami Law Review

College journalists are in a unique position. On one hand, they are typical college students, attending classes and cheering on the team at all the big games. On the other, they serve as investigative journalists, revealing the university’s deepest flaws on the front page of their newspaper. These roles should not be mutually exclusive, but at an alarming rate, universities are attempting to rid themselves of bad press by censoring their own campus newspapers.

This Note argues that universities can get away with this because of the current structure of the public forum doctrine. This doctrine determines the extent to …


Censorship By Crying Wolf: Misclassifying Student Speech As Threats, Susan Kruth Mar 2017

Censorship By Crying Wolf: Misclassifying Student Speech As Threats, Susan Kruth

University of Miami Law Review

Freedom of expression is at risk at colleges and universities across the country. While campus administrators employ a number of strategies to censor speech they disfavor, this piece explores the trend of justifying censorship and punishment of expression by labeling it a “threat” and citing concerns about safety. In contrast to the kind of speech the Supreme Court has defined as a “true threat,” the expression at issue in the cases discussed here poses no safety risk, comprising political commentary, jokes, and pop culture references. Its punishment both trivializes actual dangers and chills campus discourse. Accordingly, it is imperative that …


John Stuart Mill And Political Correctness, Lackland H. Bloom Jr. Jan 2017

John Stuart Mill And Political Correctness, Lackland H. Bloom Jr.

Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters

This article will examine Mill’s arguments in favor of unrestrained freedom of speech and his objection to the social censorship of speech. It will then discuss the origins and impact of what is now characterized as political correctness. The article will then define the concept of social censorship and attempt to distinguish pure social censorship from private tangible punishment of speech. Next, the article will examine the ways in which social censorship serves important social goals and promotes free speech as well as the ways in which it undermines free speech. It will especially focus on the damage to intellectual …


Ulysses: A Mighty Hero In The Fight For Freedom Of Expression, Marc J. Randazza Nov 2016

Ulysses: A Mighty Hero In The Fight For Freedom Of Expression, Marc J. Randazza

University of Massachusetts Law Review

James Joyce’s Ulysses was a revolutionary novel, and this much is common knowledge. What is not common knowledge is how useful Ulysses was in pushing the boundaries of freedom of expression. This masterpiece of literature opened the door for modern American free speech jurisprudence, but in recent years has become more of an object of judicial scorn. This Article seeks to educate legal scholars as to the importance of the novel, and attempts to reverse the anti-intellectual spirit that runs through modern American jurisprudence, where the novel is now more used as an object of mockery, or as a negative …


Regulating Lolicon: Toward Japanese Compliance With Its International Legal Obligations To Ban Virtual Child Pornography, Cory L. Takeuchi Sep 2016

Regulating Lolicon: Toward Japanese Compliance With Its International Legal Obligations To Ban Virtual Child Pornography, Cory L. Takeuchi

Georgia Journal of International & Comparative Law

No abstract provided.


The Dmca: A Modern Version Of The Licensing Act Of 1662, L. Ray Patterson Apr 2016

The Dmca: A Modern Version Of The Licensing Act Of 1662, L. Ray Patterson

Journal of Intellectual Property Law

No abstract provided.


Freedom Of Speech For Libraries And Librarians, Rodney A. Smolla Jul 2015

Freedom Of Speech For Libraries And Librarians, Rodney A. Smolla

Rod Smolla

Noting the recent bicentennial of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Professor Smolla considers the role of librarians in opposing censorship. He proposes a new principle of "professionalism" to establish the librarian's role, and discusses the principle in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Board of Education v. Pico.


Propaganda, Xenophobia, And The First Amendment, Rodney A. Smolla, Stephen A. Smith Jul 2015

Propaganda, Xenophobia, And The First Amendment, Rodney A. Smolla, Stephen A. Smith

Rod Smolla

No abstract provided.


How Not To Criminalize Cyberbullying, Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, Andrea Garcia Dec 2014

How Not To Criminalize Cyberbullying, Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky, Andrea Garcia

Lyrissa Barnett Lidsky

This essay provides a sustained constitutional critique of the growing body of laws criminalizing cyberbullying. These laws typically proceed by either modernizing existing harassment and stalking laws or crafting new criminal offenses. Both paths are beset with First Amendment perils, which this essay illustrates through 'case studies' of selected legislative efforts. Though sympathetic to the aims of these new laws, this essay contends that reflexive criminalization in response to tragic cyberbullying incidents has led law-makers to conflate cyberbullying as a social problem with cyberbullying as a criminal problem, creating pernicious consequences. The legislative zeal to eradicate cyberbullying potentially produces disproportionate …


Fouling The First Amendment: Why Colleges Can't, And Shouldn't, Control Student Athletes' Speech On Social Media, Frank D. Lomonte Jan 2014

Fouling The First Amendment: Why Colleges Can't, And Shouldn't, Control Student Athletes' Speech On Social Media, Frank D. Lomonte

Journal of Business & Technology Law

No abstract provided.


Censorship 101, Sonja R. West Dec 2013

Censorship 101, Sonja R. West

Popular Media

This article looks at censorship in the public school setting.


S!*T, P*@S, C*^T, F*#K, C*@!S*&!Er, M*!#$*@!*#^R, T*!S - The Fcc's Crackdown On Indecency, Lindsay Weiss Apr 2013

S!*T, P*@S, C*^T, F*#K, C*@!S*&!Er, M*!#$*@!*#^R, T*!S - The Fcc's Crackdown On Indecency, Lindsay Weiss

Journal of the National Association of Administrative Law Judiciary

No abstract provided.


Banning Books In Public Schools: Board Of Education V. Pico, Kelly Bowers Feb 2013

Banning Books In Public Schools: Board Of Education V. Pico, Kelly Bowers

Pepperdine Law Review

In Island Trees Union Free School District v. Pico five members of the Supreme Court, in three separate opinions, held that the first amendment places some constraints on a school board's power to remove books from its school libraries. Although the opinions were couched in terms of preventing censorship, the effect of this decision was to create a right guaranteeing students access to books approved by the federal judiciary.