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Remedies And The Government's Constitutionally Harmful Speech, Helen Norton Jan 2018

Remedies And The Government's Constitutionally Harmful Speech, Helen Norton

Articles

Although governments have engaged in expression from their inception, only recently have we begun to consider the ways in which the government’s speech sometimes threatens our constitutional rights. In my contribution to this symposium, I seek to show that although the search for constitutional remedies for the government’s harmful expression is challenging, it is far from futile. This search is also increasingly important at a time when the government’s expressive powers continue to grow—along with its willingness to use these powers for disturbing purposes and with troubling consequences.

More specifically, in certain circumstances, injunctive relief, declaratory ...


The Government's Manufacture Of Doubt, Helen Norton Jan 2018

The Government's Manufacture Of Doubt, Helen Norton

Articles

“The manufacture of doubt” refers to a speaker’s strategic efforts to undermine factual assertions that threaten its self-interest. This strategy was perhaps most famously employed by the tobacco industry in its longstanding campaign to contest mounting medical evidence linking cigarettes to a wide range of health risks. At its best, the government’s speech can counter such efforts and protect the public interest, as exemplified by the Surgeon General’s groundbreaking 1964 report on the dangers of tobacco, a report that challenged the industry’s preferred narrative. But the government’s speech is not always so heroic, and governments ...


Government Lies And The Press Clause, Helen Norton Jan 2018

Government Lies And The Press Clause, Helen Norton

Articles

This essay considers a particular universe of potentially dangerous governmental falsehoods: the government's lies and misrepresentations about and to the press.

Government's efforts to regulate private speakers' lies clearly implicate the First Amendment, as many (but not all) of our own lies are protected by the Free Speech Clause. But because the government does not have First Amendment rights of its own when it speaks, the constitutional limits, if any, on the government's own lies are considerably less clear.

In earlier work I have explored in some detail the Free Speech and Due Process Clauses as possible ...