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Faculty Scholarship

Supreme Court Review

1981

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Overbreadth, Henry Paul Monaghan Jan 1981

Overbreadth, Henry Paul Monaghan

Faculty Scholarship

The concern in constitutional law with "overbreadth" is generally understood to denote a conscious departure from conventional standing concepts in free-expression cases. Assertedly justified by the special vulnerability of protected expression to impermissible deterrence, overbreadth doctrine invites litigants to attack the facial validity of rules which burden expressive interests. A litigant whose expression is admittedly within the constitutionally valid applications of a statute is permitted to assert the statute's potentially invalid applications with respect to other persons not before the court and with whom the litigant stands in no special relationship. Judicial focus is not on the protected character ...