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Articles

2018

Legal theory

Law and Race

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Fearless Speech, Mary Anne Franks Jan 2018

Fearless Speech, Mary Anne Franks

Articles

The American conception of free speech is primarily defined as the freedom to say whatever one wants, with little regard for the quality, context, or impact of the speech. Thus, American free speech doctrine is often characterized as neutral with regard to the speaker and the content of speech; in practice, however, it consistently privileges powerful over vulnerable speakers and harmful over critical speech.

From Philadelphia to Skokie to Charlottesville, the First Amendment has been interpreted to protect speech by white men that silences and endangers women and minorities. As free speech doctrine and practice become increasingly concerned with private ...