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Constitutional Law

Freedom of speech

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Full-Text Articles in Law

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 …


Free Speech On Social Media: Unrestricted Or Regulated?, Alessandra Garcia Guevara Apr 2022

Free Speech On Social Media: Unrestricted Or Regulated?, Alessandra Garcia Guevara

Student Writing

Social media has evolved into an essential mode of communication in recent years, allowing people to express their thoughts with the audience of their choice by sending private messages, posting their thoughts, or sharing their opinions. Such audiences can come from all over the world because this online technology breaks down geographic, linguistic, and cultural barriers. As a result, social media has evolved into a powerful tool for self-expression, allowing anyone with an Internet connection to participate in global debates. However, its misuse has had disastrous consequences in the real world, such as the attack on the Capitol that occurred …


Constitutional Rights As Human Rights: Freedom Of Speech, Equal Protection, And The Right Of Privacy, Michael J. Perry Jan 2022

Constitutional Rights As Human Rights: Freedom Of Speech, Equal Protection, And The Right Of Privacy, Michael J. Perry

Faculty Articles

Much of my recent scholarly work has addressed questions concerning the political morality - the global political morality of human rights. This essay continues in that vein; I focus on a relationship I began to discuss almost forty years ago, in my first book: the relationship between (some) constitutional rights and (some) human rights. My overarching claim here: There is a significant interface between the constitutional law of the United States and the political morality of human rights. My principal aim in this Essay is to defend (and illustrate) that broad claim by defending three narrower claims:

1. The constitutional …


Animal Rights Activism And The Constitution: Are Ag-Gag Laws Justifiable Limits?, Jodi Lazare Jan 2022

Animal Rights Activism And The Constitution: Are Ag-Gag Laws Justifiable Limits?, Jodi Lazare

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Forthcoming in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal (2022).

It is a troubling time to be an animal rights activist in Canada. Recently, Alberta adopted legislation to create harsh penalties for trespassing onto private property, for obtaining permission to enter private property based on false pretences, and for interfering with vehicles on public highways. These laws relate to agricultural lands, to private property generally, and, where roads are concerned, to public property. Ontario, for its part, has adopted similar legislation aimed specifically at agricultural property. The legislation in both provinces purports to protect the security of farmers, their families, and rural …


The First Amendment And Algorithms, Stuart M. Benjamin Jan 2021

The First Amendment And Algorithms, Stuart M. Benjamin

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Second Founding And The First Amendment, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2021

The Second Founding And The First Amendment, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

Constitutional doctrine generally proceeds from the premise that the original intent and public understanding of pre-Civil War constitutional provisions carries forward unchanged from the colonial Founding era. This premise is flawed because it ignores the Nation’s Second Founding: i.e., the constitutional moment culminating in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments and the civil rights statutes enacted pursuant thereto. The Second Founding, in addition to providing specific new individual rights and federal powers, also represented a fundamental shift in our constitutional order. The Second Founding’s constitutional regime provided that the underlying systemic rules and norms of the First Founding’s Constitution …


"The Road I Can't Help Travelling": Holmes On Truth And Persuadability, Joseph Blocher Jan 2020

"The Road I Can't Help Travelling": Holmes On Truth And Persuadability, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Supreme Court’S Two Constitutions: A First Look At The “Reverse Polarity” Cases, Arthur D. Hellman Jan 2020

The Supreme Court’S Two Constitutions: A First Look At The “Reverse Polarity” Cases, Arthur D. Hellman

Articles

In the traditional approach to ideological classification, “liberal” judicial decisions are those that support civil liberties claims; “conservative” decisions are those that reject them. That view – particularly associated with the Warren Court era – is reflected in numerous academic writings and even an article by a prominent liberal judge. Today, however, there is mounting evidence that the traditional assumptions about the liberal-conservative divide are incorrect or at best incomplete. In at least some areas of constitutional law, the traditional characterizations have been reversed. Across a wide variety of constitutional issues, support for claims under the Bill of Rights or …


The Invention Of First Amendment Federalism, Jud Campbell Jan 2019

The Invention Of First Amendment Federalism, Jud Campbell

Law Faculty Publications

When insisting that the Sedition Act of 1798 violated the First Amendment, Jeffersonian Republicans cast their argument in historical terms, claiming that the Speech and Press Clauses eliminated any federal power to restrict expression. Scholars, in turn, have generally accepted that Republicans had a consistent understanding of the First Amendment throughout the 1790s. But Founding Era constitutionalism was dynamic in practice, even while often conservative in rhetoric, and scholars have missed the striking novelty of the principal argument against the Sedition Act. Republicans had taken a rights provision and transformed it into a federalism rule.

Mostly ignored in the literature, …


Free Speech And Justified True Belief, Joseph Blocher Jan 2019

Free Speech And Justified True Belief, Joseph Blocher

Faculty Scholarship

Law often prioritizes justified true beliefs. Evidence, even if probative and correct, must have a proper foundation. Expert witness testimony must be the product of reliable principles and methods. Prosecutors are not permitted to trick juries into convicting a defendant, even if that defendant is truly guilty. Judges’ reasons, and not just the correctness of their holdings, are the engines of precedent. Lawyers are, in short, familiar with the notion that one must be right for the right reasons.

And yet the standard epistemic theory of the First Amendment—that the marketplace of ideas is the “best test of truth”—has generally …


Quiet-Revolution Rulings In Constitutional Law, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2019

Quiet-Revolution Rulings In Constitutional Law, Dan T. Coenen

Scholarly Works

The Supreme Court ordinarily supports its establishment of major constitutional principles with detailed justifications in its opinions. On occasion, however, the Court proceeds in a very different way, issuing landmark pronouncements without giving any supportive reasons at all. This Article documents the recurring character and deep importance of these “quietrevolution rulings” in constitutional law. It shows that—however surprising it might seem—rulings of this sort have played key roles in shaping incorporation; reverse incorporation; congressional power; federal courts; and freedom-ofspeech, freedom-of-religion, and equal-protection law. According to the synthesis offered here, these rulings fall into two categories. One set of cases involves …


Compelled Subsidies And Original Meaning, Jud Campbell Jan 2019

Compelled Subsidies And Original Meaning, Jud Campbell

Law Faculty Publications

The rule against compelled subsidization of speech is at the forefront of modem First Amendment disputes. Challenges to mandatory union dues, laws preventing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and the federal "contraceptive mandate" have all featured variants of the anti-subsidization principle, reasoning that the government cannot compel people to support the objectionable activities of others. But the literature currently fails to evaluate modem compelled-subsidy doctrine in terms of the original meaning of the First Amendment. This Essay takes up that task.

Approaching any question of original meaning requires a willingness to encounter a constitutional world that looks very …


Rights Skepticism And Majority Rule At The Birth Of The Modern First Amendment, Vincent A. Blasi Jan 2018

Rights Skepticism And Majority Rule At The Birth Of The Modern First Amendment, Vincent A. Blasi

Faculty Scholarship

Learned Hand, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Louis Brandeis all had the same problem. They were troubled — Holmes less than the others and later, but eventually — by the widespread and mean-spirited persecution of dissenters they observed as the United States entered World War I and then reacted to the Bolshevik Revolution. Today, most persons so troubled would think that constitutional rights, and particularly the freedom of speech, exist for the very purpose of countermanding zealous political majorities that deny or neglect the claims of dissenters. But Hand, Holmes, and Brandeis, each by his own distinctive path, came to the …


Learned Hand's Seven Other Ideas About The Freedom Of Speech, Vincent A. Blasi Jan 2018

Learned Hand's Seven Other Ideas About The Freedom Of Speech, Vincent A. Blasi

Faculty Scholarship

I say “other” because, regarding the freedom of speech, Learned Hand has suffered the not uncommon fate of having his best ideas either drowned out or credited exclusively to others due to the excessive attention that has been bestowed on one of his lesser ideas. Sitting as a district judge in the case of Masses Publishing Co. v. Patten, Hand wrote the earliest judicial opinion about the freedom of speech that has attained canonical status. He ruled that under the recently passed Espionage Act of 1917, writings critical of government cannot be grounds for imposing criminal punishment or the …


More Restrictive Alternatives, Michael Coenen Dec 2017

More Restrictive Alternatives, Michael Coenen

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


A Less Corrupt Term: 2016–2017 Supreme Court Roundup, Marc O. Degirolami, Kevin C. Walsh Oct 2017

A Less Corrupt Term: 2016–2017 Supreme Court Roundup, Marc O. Degirolami, Kevin C. Walsh

Faculty Publications

(Excerpt)

In these unusually turbulent times for the presidency and Congress, the Supreme Court’s latest term stands out for its lack of drama. There were no 5–4 end-of-the-term cases that mesmerized the nation. There were no blockbuster decisions.

Even so, the Court was hardly immune to the steady transformation of our governing institutions into reality TV shows. Over the weekend leading into the final day of the term, speculation ignited from who-knows-where about the possible departure of its main character, Justice Anthony Kennedy. To us, the chatter seemed forced—as if the viewing public needed something to fill the vacuum left …


Memorandum, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. V. Colo. Civil Rights Comm., __ U.S. __ (2017): Legislative History Of Sb08-200, Matt Simonsen Sep 2017

Memorandum, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. V. Colo. Civil Rights Comm., __ U.S. __ (2017): Legislative History Of Sb08-200, Matt Simonsen

Research Data

This legal Memorandum on the legislative history of a 2008 amendment to the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) was researched and written by Matt Simonsen, J.D. Candidate 2019, University of Colorado Law School, and submitted to law professors Craig Konnoth and Melissa Hart. The Memorandum is cited in Brief of Amici Curiae Colorado Organizations and Individuals in Support of Respondents, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, __U.S.__ (2018) (No. 16-111).

4 p.

"The legislative history primarily identifies two issues that SB08-200 was designed to resolve: (1) the need for dignity and access to justice for LGBT people and …


Master File, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. V. Colo. Civil Rights Comm., __ U.S. __ (2017): Legislative History Of Sb08-200, Matt Simonsen Sep 2017

Master File, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. V. Colo. Civil Rights Comm., __ U.S. __ (2017): Legislative History Of Sb08-200, Matt Simonsen

Research Data

This Master File of the legislative history of a 2008 amendment to the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) was researched and compiled by Matt Simonsen, J.D. Candidate 2019, University of Colorado Law School, and submitted to law professors Craig Konnoth and Melissa Hart. The SB08-200 Master File is cited in Brief of Amici Curiae Colorado Organizations and Individuals in Support of Respondents, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, __U.S.__ (2018) (No. 16-111).

449 p.


The Trump Presidency And The Press, John M. Greabe May 2017

The Trump Presidency And The Press, John M. Greabe

Law Faculty Scholarship

[Excerpt] "It is not difficult to understand why presidents frequently voice frustration with the press. Imagine being subjected to critical analysis 24/7 by reporters, bloggers and pundits who often lack complete and accurate information but face competitive pressure to publish quickly."


Precedent And Speech, Randy J. Kozel Feb 2017

Precedent And Speech, Randy J. Kozel

Journal Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court has shown a notable willingness to reconsider its First Amendment precedents. In recent years the Court has departed from its prior statements regarding the constitutional value of false speech. It has revamped its process for identifying categorical exceptions to First Amendment protection. It has changed its position on corporate electioneering and aggregate campaign contributions. In short, it has revised the ground rules of expressive freedom in ways both large and small.

The Court generally describes its past decisions as enjoying a presumption of validity through the doctrine of stare decisis. This Article contends that within the …


Natural Rights And The First Amendment, Jud Campbell Jan 2017

Natural Rights And The First Amendment, Jud Campbell

Law Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court often claims that the First Amendment reflects an original judgment about the proper scope of expressive freedom. After a century of academic debate, however, the meanings of speech and press freedoms at the Founding remain remarkably hazy. Many scholars, often pointing to Founding Era sedition prosecutions, emphasize the limited scope of these rights. Others focus on the libertarian ideas that helped shape opposition to the Sedition Act of 1798. Still more claim that speech and press freedoms lacked any commonly accepted meaning. The relationship between speech and press freedoms is contested, too. Most scholars view these freedoms …


Freedom Of Speech And The Criminal Law, Dan T. Coenen Jan 2017

Freedom Of Speech And The Criminal Law, Dan T. Coenen

Scholarly Works

Because the Free Speech Clause limits government power to enact penal statutes, it has a close relationship to American criminal law. This Article explores that relationship at a time when a fast-growing “decriminalization movement” has taken hold across the nation. At the heart of the Article is the idea that free speech law has developed in ways that have positioned the Supreme Court to use that law to impose significant new limits on the criminalization of speech. More particularly, this article claims that the Court has developed three distinct decision-making strategies for decriminalizing speech based on constitutional principles. The first …


Internet Surveillance, Regulation, And Chilling Effects Online: A Comparative Case Study, Jonathon Penney Jan 2017

Internet Surveillance, Regulation, And Chilling Effects Online: A Comparative Case Study, Jonathon Penney

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

With internet regulation and censorship on the rise, states increasingly engaging in online surveillance, and state cyber-policing capabilities rapidly evolving globally, concerns about regulatory “chilling effects” online — the idea that laws, regulations, or state surveillance can deter people from exercising their freedoms or engaging in legal activities on the internet have taken on greater urgency and public importance. But just as notions of “chilling effects” are not new, neither is skepticism about their legal, theoretical, and empirical basis; in fact, the concept remains largely un-interrogated with significant gaps in understanding, particularly with respect to chilling effects online. This work …


Checking The Government’S Deception Through Public Employee Speech, Helen Norton Jan 2017

Checking The Government’S Deception Through Public Employee Speech, Helen Norton

Publications

No abstract provided.


Siri-Ously 2.0: What Artificial Intelligence Reveals About The First Amendment, Toni M. Massaro, Helen Norton, Margot E. Kaminski Jan 2017

Siri-Ously 2.0: What Artificial Intelligence Reveals About The First Amendment, Toni M. Massaro, Helen Norton, Margot E. Kaminski

Publications

The First Amendment may protect speech by strong Artificial Intelligence (AI). In this Article, we support this provocative claim by expanding on earlier work, addressing significant concerns and challenges, and suggesting potential paths forward.

This is not a claim about the state of technology. Whether strong AI — as-yet-hypothetical machines that can actually think — will ever come to exist remains far from clear. It is instead a claim that discussing AI speech sheds light on key features of prevailing First Amendment doctrine and theory, including the surprising lack of humanness at its core.

Courts and commentators wrestling with free …


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 …


Sinclair's Nightmare: Slapp-Ing Down Ag-Gag Legislation As Content-Based Restrictions Chilling Protected Free Speech, Jeffrey Vizcaino Jan 2016

Sinclair's Nightmare: Slapp-Ing Down Ag-Gag Legislation As Content-Based Restrictions Chilling Protected Free Speech, Jeffrey Vizcaino

Student Works

Over a century after its publication, Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel, The Jungle, remains one of the most impactful pieces of investigative literature ever published. During 1904, in an effort to expose the heinous working conditions of Chicago’s meat packing industry, Sinclair went under disguise as a factory worker for seven weeks. While Sinclair’s purpose for The Jungle was to propel federal reform against inhumane work conditions, it was the first-hand depiction of the callous slaughtering and unsanitary processing of meat products which led to national uproar. Gaining the attention of national political leaders, including President Theodore Roosevelt, The Jungle …


Hate Speech And Double Standards, Thomas M. Keck Jan 2016

Hate Speech And Double Standards, Thomas M. Keck

Political Science - All Scholarship

Many European states ban the public expression of hateful speech directed at racial and religious minorities, and an increasing number do so for anti-gay speech as well. These laws have been subjected to a wide range of legal, philosophical, and empirical investigation, but this paper explores one potential cost that has not received much attention in the literature. Statutory bans on hate speech leave democratic societies with a Hobson’s choice. If those societies ban incitements of hatred against some vulnerable groups, they will inevitably face parallel demands for protection of other such groups. If they accede to those demands, they …


Chilling Effects: Online Surveillance And Wikipedia Use, Jonathon Penney Jan 2016

Chilling Effects: Online Surveillance And Wikipedia Use, Jonathon Penney

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

This article discusses the results of the first empirical study providing evidence of regulatory “chilling effects” of Wikipedia users associated with online government surveillance. The study explores how traffic to Wikipedia articles on topics that raise privacy concerns for Wikipedia users decreased after the widespread publicity about NSA/PRISM surveillance revelations in June 2013. Using an interdisciplinary research design, the study tests the hypothesis, based on chilling effects theory, that traffic to privacy-sensitive Wikipedia articles reduced after the mass surveillance revelations. The Article finds not only a statistically significant immediate decline in traffic for these Wikipedia articles after June 2013, but …


Siri-Ously? Free Speech Rights And Artificial Intelligence, Toni M. Massaro, Helen Norton Jan 2016

Siri-Ously? Free Speech Rights And Artificial Intelligence, Toni M. Massaro, Helen Norton

Publications

Computers with communicative artificial intelligence (AI) are pushing First Amendment theory and doctrine in profound and novel ways. They are becoming increasingly self-directed and corporal in ways that may one day make it difficult to call the communication ours versus theirs. This, in turn, invites questions about whether the First Amendment ever will (or ever should) cover AI speech or speakers even absent a locatable and accountable human creator. In this Article, we explain why current free speech theory and doctrine pose surprisingly few barriers to this counterintuitive result; their elasticity suggests that speaker humanness no longer may be …