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Anti-Press Bias: A Response To Andersen Jones And West's Presuming Trustworthiness, Erin C. Carroll Apr 2024

Anti-Press Bias: A Response To Andersen Jones And West's Presuming Trustworthiness, Erin C. Carroll

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Professors RonNell Andersen Jones and Sonja R. West’s Presuming Trustworthiness is a deeply depressing read. That is what makes it so good. The article is a clear-eyed, data-driven approach to assessing just how endangered the legal status of the free press is. Given the universality of the agreement that a free press is central to democracy, Andersen Jones and West’s message is vital. Presuming Trustworthiness should raise alarms.

In response, I hope this essay can serve as a bullhorn. I want to amplify what Andersen Jones and West’s research and data bear out. Not only has the Supreme Court ceased …


“We Do No Such Thing”: 303 Creative V. Elenis And The Future Of First Amendment Challenges To Public Accommodations Laws, David Cole Jan 2024

“We Do No Such Thing”: 303 Creative V. Elenis And The Future Of First Amendment Challenges To Public Accommodations Laws, David Cole

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In 303 Creative v. Elenis, the Supreme Court ruled that a business had a right to refuse to design a wedding website for a same-sex couple. But properly understood, the decision’s parameters are narrow, and the decision should have minimal effect on public accommodations laws.


American Law In The New Global Conflict, Mark Jia Jan 2024

American Law In The New Global Conflict, Mark Jia

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This Article surveys how a growing rivalry between the United States and China is changing the American legal system. It argues that U.S.-China conflict is reproducing, in attenuated form, the same politics of threat that has driven wartime legal development for much of our history. The result is that American law is reprising familiar patterns and pathologies. There has been a diminishment in rights among groups with imputed ties to a geopolitical adversary. But there has also been a modest expansion in rights where advocates have linked desired reforms with geopolitical goals. Institutionally, the new global conflict has at times …


The Violence Of Free Speech And Press Metaphors, Erin C. Carroll Jan 2024

The Violence Of Free Speech And Press Metaphors, Erin C. Carroll

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Today, our free speech marketplace is often overwhelming, confusing, and even dangerous. Threats, misdirection, and lies abound. Online firestorms lead to offline violence. This Article argues that the way we conceptualize free speech and the free press are partly to blame: our metaphors are hurting us.

The primary metaphor courts have used for a century to describe free speech—the marketplace of ideas—has been linked to violence since its inception. Originating in a case about espionage and revolution, in a dissent written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, a thrice-injured Civil War veteran, the marketplace has been described as a space where competition …


The Common Law And First Amendment Qualified Right Of Public Access To Foreign Intelligence Law, Laura K. Donohue Dec 2023

The Common Law And First Amendment Qualified Right Of Public Access To Foreign Intelligence Law, Laura K. Donohue

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

For millennia, public access to the law has been the hallmark of rule of law. To be legally and morally binding, rules must be promulgated. Citizens’ knowledge of the law, in turn, serves as the lynchpin for democratic governance. In common law countries, it is more than just the statutory provisions and their execution that matters: how courts rule, and the reasoning behind their determination, proves central. Accordingly, in the United States, both common law and the right to petition incorporated in the First Amendment have long enshrined a presumed right of public right of access to Article III opinions …


Beyond The Watchdog: Using Law To Build Trust In The Press, Erin C. Carroll Mar 2023

Beyond The Watchdog: Using Law To Build Trust In The Press, Erin C. Carroll

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Declining trust in the American press has been longstanding and corrosive—both to our information environment and to democracy. It is tempting to think that if journalists could just repeatedly and brilliantly play their key role—that of watchdog—it might be redemptive. But doubling down on the watchdog function holds risks in our polarized climate. Research shows that some conservatives recoil from watchdog journalism, finding it too cynical and politicized.

This essay argues that a different journalistic function—one that has received far less attention and adulation from judges and legal scholars—should be encouraged and amplified. This is the press’s role as a …


A Free Press Without Democracy, Erin C. Carroll Jan 2022

A Free Press Without Democracy, Erin C. Carroll

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

For several decades, the American press has been fighting for its economic survival. But while it has been consumed with this effort, the political threat to a free press has grown perhaps greater than the economic one. Democracy is eroding globally, including in the United States. Given the importance of a free press to democracy, the press needs to more urgently consider how it maintains its freedom as erosion persists.

This Article sets out a framework for American press priorities in this pivotal moment. It suggests that to resist and weather a turn to autocracy, the press must endeavor to …


Obstruction Of Journalism, Erin C. Carroll Jan 2022

Obstruction Of Journalism, Erin C. Carroll

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Identifying oneself as press used to be a near-grant of immunity. It meant safer passage through all manner of dangerous terrain. But today, being recognizable as a journalist may be more likely to make one a target.

Physical attacks against journalists in the United States increased nearly 1,300 percent in 2020. The rate of online violence against journalists is also soaring. This violence is aimed almost entirely at women, people of color, non-Christians, and non-straight journalists. It silences voices already relegated to the edges. Rather than letting our national conversation branch, the violence attempts to shear it to a white, …


The Evolution And Jurisprudence Of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court And Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Of Review, Laura K. Donohue Jan 2021

The Evolution And Jurisprudence Of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court And Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Of Review, Laura K. Donohue

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The past eight years have witnessed an explosion in the number of publicly-available opinions and orders issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. From only six opinions in the public domain 1978–2012, by early 2021, eighty-eight opinions had been released. The sharp departure is even more pronounced in relation to orders: from only one order declassified during 1978–2012, since 2013, 288 have been formally released. These documents highlight how the courts’s roles have evolved since 2004 and reveal four key areas that dominate the courts’ jurisprudence: its position as a specialized, Article III …


How We Talk About The Press, Erin C. Carroll Feb 2020

How We Talk About The Press, Erin C. Carroll

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In 2017, the term “fake news” was so popular that it received the “Word of the Year” honor from the American Dialect Society. Since then, its popularity may have abated some, but its use persists. Most obviously, anti-press speakers weaponize the term fake news to undermine journalists and the press as an institution. Perhaps more surprisingly, however, the term is also in regular rotation among many who would seem to support a free and independent press, including scholars, teachers, and journalists themselves.

The continued and often-uncritical use of fake news should worry us. As thinkers across disciplines have recognized for …


News As Surveillance, Erin C. Carroll Jan 2020

News As Surveillance, Erin C. Carroll

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

As inhabitants of the Information Age, we are increasingly aware of the amount and kind of data that technology platforms collect on us. Far less publicized, however, is how much data news organizations collect on us as we read the news online and how they allow third parties to collect that personal data as well. A handful of studies by computer scientists reveal that, as a group, news websites are among the Internet’s worst offenders when it comes to tracking their visitors.

On the one hand, this surveillance is unsurprising. It is capitalism at work. The press’s business model has …


Promoting Journalism As Method, Erin C. Carroll Jan 2020

Promoting Journalism As Method, Erin C. Carroll

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The marketplace of ideas has been a centerpiece of free speech jurisprudence for a century. According to the marketplace theory, the vigorous competition of ideas, free from government interference, is the surest path to truth. As our metaphorical marketplace has moved online, the competition has never been so heated. We should be drowning in truth. Yet, in reality, truth has perhaps never been more elusive.

As we struggle to promote democratic debate and surface truth in our chaotic networked public sphere, we are understandably drawn to familiar frames and tools. These include the source of the marketplace of ideas theory—the …


Platforms And The Fall Of The Fourth Estate: Looking Beyond The First Amendment To Protect Watchdog Journalism, Erin C. Carroll Jan 2020

Platforms And The Fall Of The Fourth Estate: Looking Beyond The First Amendment To Protect Watchdog Journalism, Erin C. Carroll

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Journalists see the First Amendment as an amulet, and with good reason. It has long protected the Fourth Estate—an independent institutional press—in its exercise of editorial discretion to check government power. This protection helped the Fourth Estate flourish in the second half of the twentieth century and ably perform its constitutional watchdog role.

But in the last two decades, the media ecology has changed. The Fourth Estate has been subsumed by a Networked Press in which journalists are joined by engineers, algorithms, audience, and other human and non-human actors in creating and distributing news. The Networked Press’s most powerful members …


Rethinking Children's Advertising Policies For The Digital Age, Angela J. Campbell Jan 2017

Rethinking Children's Advertising Policies For The Digital Age, Angela J. Campbell

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This article describes major changes in how video content and advertising is delivered to consumers. Digital technologies such as broadband allow consumers to stream or download programming. Smart phones and tablets allow consumers to view screen content virtually anywhere at any time. Advertising has become personalized and integrated with other content.

Despite these major changes in the media markets, the framework for regulating advertising to children has not changed very much since the 1990s. This article argues that the existing regulatory framework must be reinvented to protect children in the digital age. It uses Google’s recently introduced YouTube Kids app …


Making News: Balancing Newsworthiness And Privacy In The Age Of Algorithms, Erin C. Carroll Jan 2017

Making News: Balancing Newsworthiness And Privacy In The Age Of Algorithms, Erin C. Carroll

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In deciding privacy lawsuits against media defendants, courts have for decades deferred to the media. They have given it wide berth to determine what is newsworthy and so, what is protected under the First Amendment. And in doing so, they have often spoken reverently of the editorial process and journalistic decision-making.

Yet, in just the last several years, news production and consumption has changed dramatically. As we get more of our news from digital and social media sites, the role of information gatekeeper is shifting from journalists to computer engineers, programmers, and app designers. The algorithms that the latter write …


The First Amendment Walks Into A Bar: Trademark Registration And Free Speech, Rebecca Tushnet Jan 2016

The First Amendment Walks Into A Bar: Trademark Registration And Free Speech, Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Section 2 of the Lanham Act, the federal law governing trademarks, lists a number of bars that preclude registration of a trademark on the federal register. These reasons include: the claimed matter is functional, meaning it affects the cost or quality of the underlying product or service; the claimed matter is merely descriptive, meaning that consumers don’t understand that it indicates source and instead think that it just describes some characteristic of the product; the claimed matter is deceptively misdescriptive, which is like descriptiveness except not true; the claimed matter is deceptive, meaning that the untruth would be material to …


Cool Story: Country Of Origin Labeling And The First Amendment, Rebecca Tushnet Jan 2015

Cool Story: Country Of Origin Labeling And The First Amendment, Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Country of origin labeling (COOL) requirements have long been part of government regulation of commerce. While one might ordinarily think of mandatory COOL as part of trade policy--or even as a means of encouraging individual citizens to engage in country-specific buying that would be disallowed as protectionism if carried out by their governments -- the most robust legal challenges to mandatory COOL now come from the First Amendment, not from free trade principles. This reliance on free speech claims offers a stark example of the charismatic force of the First Amendment. Objections having little to do with free speech at …


A Mask That Eats Into The Face: Images And The Right Of Publicity, Rebecca Tushnet Jan 2015

A Mask That Eats Into The Face: Images And The Right Of Publicity, Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In their eagerness to reward celebrities for the power of their “images,” and to prevent other people from exploiting those images, courts have allowed the right of publicity to distort the First Amendment. The power of the visual image has allowed courts to create an inconsistent, overly expansive regime that would be easily understood as constitutionally unacceptable were the same rules applied to written words as to drawings and video games. The intersection of a conceptually unbounded right with a category of objects that courts do not handle well has created deep inconsistencies and biases in the treatment of visual …


Ex Post Modernism: How The First Amendment Framed Nonrepresentational Art, Sonya G. Bonneau Jan 2015

Ex Post Modernism: How The First Amendment Framed Nonrepresentational Art, Sonya G. Bonneau

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Nonrepresentational art repeatedly surfaces in legal discourse as an example of highly valued First Amendment speech. It is also systematically described in constitutionally valueless terms: nonlinguistic, noncognitive, and apolitical. Why does law talk about nonrepresentational art at all, much less treat it as a constitutional precept? What are the implications for conceptualizing artistic expression as free speech?

This article contends that the source of nonrepresentational art’s presumptive First Amendment value is the same source of its utter lack thereof: modernism. Specifically, a symbolic alliance between abstraction and freedom of expression was forged in the mid-twentieth century, informed by social and …


Hobby Lobby, Birth Control And Our Ongoing Cultural Wars: Pleasure And Desire In The Crossfires, Robin West Jan 2015

Hobby Lobby, Birth Control And Our Ongoing Cultural Wars: Pleasure And Desire In The Crossfires, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Both sides of the birth control debate agree that birth control artificially prevents or interrupts conception, allowing women to control their own fertility and allowing heterosexual men and women to enjoy unconstrained sexual liberty. However, the decision in Hobby Lobby omitted all discussion of this central function of birth control, and contained no mention of arguments for or against birth control that assume it.

This piece examines and criticizes the two major arguments opposing and supporting birth control on this understanding of its function and core social meaning: first the neo-natural lawyers’ argument against birth control advanced in a papal …


A Tale Of Two Rights, Robin West Jan 2014

A Tale Of Two Rights, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In part I of this article the author identifies and criticizes a cluster of constitutional rights, which she argues does tremendous and generally unreckoned harm to civil society, and does so for reasons poorly articulated in earlier critiques. At the heart of the new paradigm of constitutional rights that the author believes these rights exemplify is a “right to exit.” On this conception of individual rights, a constitutional right is a right to “opt out” of some central public or civic project. This understanding of what it means to have a constitutional right hit the scene a good two decades …


“I’M A Lawyer, Not An Ethnographer, Jim”: Textual Poachers And Fair Use, Rebecca Tushnet Jan 2014

“I’M A Lawyer, Not An Ethnographer, Jim”: Textual Poachers And Fair Use, Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This short article, written for a festschrift for Henry Jenkins, discusses the influence of his work on media fandom in legal scholarship and advocacy around fair use.


How Many Wrongs Make A Copyright?, Rebecca Tushnet Jan 2014

How Many Wrongs Make A Copyright?, Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Derek Bambauer’s provocative paper argues that, because the remedies available to people who suffer unconsented distribution of intimate images of themselves are insufficient, we should amend copyright law to fill the gap. Bambauer’s proposal requires significant changes to every part of copyright—what copyright seeks to encourage, who counts as an author/owner, what counts as an exclusive right, what qualifies as infringement, what suffices as a defense, and what remedies are available. These differences are not mere details. Among other things, incentivizing intimacy is not the same thing as incentivizing creativity. Bambauer’s argument that copyright is normatively empty and already full …


More Than A Feeling: Emotion And The First Amendment, Rebecca Tushnet Jan 2014

More Than A Feeling: Emotion And The First Amendment, Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

First Amendment law has generally been leery of government attempts to change the marketplace of emotions—except when it has not been. Scientific evidence indicates that emotion and rationality are not opposed, as the law often presumes, but rather inextricably linked. There is no judgment, whether moral or otherwise, without emotions to guide our choices. Judicial failure to grapple with this reality has produced some puzzles in the law.

Part I of this Symposium contribution examines the intersection of private law, the First Amendment, and attempts to manipulate and control emotions. Only false factual statements can defame, not mere derogatory opinions. …


Bulk Metadata Collection: Statutory And Constitutional Considerations, Laura K. Donohue Jan 2014

Bulk Metadata Collection: Statutory And Constitutional Considerations, Laura K. Donohue

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephony metadata runs contrary to Congress’s intent in enacting the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The program also violates the statute in three ways: the requirement that records sought be “relevant to an authorized investigation;” the requirement that information could be obtained via subpoena duces tecum; and the steps required for use of pen registers and trap and trace devices. Additionally, the program gives rise to serious constitutional concerns. Efforts by the government to save the program on grounds of third party doctrine are unpersuasive in light of the unique circumstances of …


All Of This Has Happened Before And All Of This Will Happen Again: Innovation In Copyright Licensing, Rebecca Tushnet Jan 2014

All Of This Has Happened Before And All Of This Will Happen Again: Innovation In Copyright Licensing, Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Claims that copyright licensing can substitute for fair use have a long history. This article focuses on a new cycle of the copyright licensing debate, which has brought revised arguments in favor of universal copyright licensing. First, the new arrangements offered by large copyright owners often purport to sanction the large-scale creation of derivative works, rather than mere reproductions, which were the focus of earlier blanket licensing efforts. Second, the new licenses are often free. Rather than demanding royalties as in the past, copyright owners just want a piece of the action—along with the right to claim that unlicensed uses …


The Trickle-Down War, Rosa Brooks Jan 2014

The Trickle-Down War, Rosa Brooks

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The history of the European nation-state, wrote political sociologist Charles Tilly, is inextricably bound up with the history of warfare. To oversimplify Tilly’s nuanced and complex arguments, the story goes something like this: As power-holders (originally bandits and local strongmen) sought to expand their power, they needed capital to pay for weapons, soldiers and supplies. The need for capital and new recruits drove the creation of taxation systems and census mechanisms, and the need for more effective systems of taxation and recruitment necessitated better roads, better communications and better record keeping. This in turn enabled the creation of larger and …


Performance Anxiety: Copyright Embodied And Disembodied, Rebecca Tushnet Jan 2013

Performance Anxiety: Copyright Embodied And Disembodied, Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The primary economic and cultural significance of copyright today comes from works and rights that weren’t contemplated by the Framers of the Constitution’s Copyright Clause. Performance—both as protected work and as right—is where much of copyright’s expansion has had its greatest impact, as new technologies have made it possible to fix performances in records and films and as cultural change has propelled recorded music and audiovisual works to the forefront of the copyright industries. Yet copyright has never fully conceptualized performance, and this has led to persistent confusion about what copyright protects.

One key problem of performance from copyright’s perspective …


Liberal Responsibilities, Robin West Jan 2013

Liberal Responsibilities, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay is a review of When the State Speaks, What Should it Say?: How Democracies can Protect Expression and Promote Equality by Corey Brettschneider (2012) and Ordered Liberty: Rights, Responsibilities, and Virtues by James E. Fleming & Linda C. McClain (2013).

In a parallel fashion, Fleming and McClain articulate and then defend a general conception of “constitutional liberalism” and its core individual rights against various critics, including communitarians such as Mary Ann Glendon and Michael Sandel, and “minimalists” such as Cass Sunstein and Jeremy Waldron, who argue that for various reasons those individual rights have undermined either civic society …


Marketing Pharmaceuticals: A Constitutional Right To Sell Prescriber-Identified Data?, Lawrence O. Gostin Jan 2012

Marketing Pharmaceuticals: A Constitutional Right To Sell Prescriber-Identified Data?, Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Pharmaceutical companies have strong economic interests in influencing physician-prescribing behaviors. They advertise direct-to-the-consumer and to the physician. Beyond general marketing, manufacturers promote their drugs to physicians through “detailing”—sales representatives (“detailers”) visiting medical offices to persuade physicians to prescribe their products.

By law, pharmacies receive specific information with every prescription, including the physician’s name, the drug, and the dose. Pharmacies sell these records to Prescription Drug Intermediaries (data miners), who use advanced computing to analyze prescriber-identified information (which physicians prescribe what drugs, in what dose, and with what prescribing patterns). Data miners, in turn, lease sophisticated reports to pharmaceutical companies to …