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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 …


The Public’S Companies, Andrew K. Jennings Dec 2023

The Public’S Companies, Andrew K. Jennings

Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

This Essay uses a series of survey studies to consider how public understandings of public and private companies map into urgent debates over the role of the corporation in American society. Does a social-media company, for example, owe it to its users to follow the free-speech principles embodied in the First Amendment? May corporate managers pursue environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) policies that could reduce short-term or long-term profits? How should companies respond to political pushback against their approaches to free expression or ESG?

The studies’ results are consistent with understandings that both public and private companies have greater public …


Unifying Concepts: Critical Race Theory, Academic Freedom Of Speech, And Democracy, Jasmine Gonzales Rose Nov 2023

Unifying Concepts: Critical Race Theory, Academic Freedom Of Speech, And Democracy, Jasmine Gonzales Rose

BU Law Presentations

Poster for Jasmine Gonzales Rose's 2023 University lecture.


For Freedom Or Full Of It? State Attempts To Silence Social Media, Grace Slicklen Oct 2023

For Freedom Or Full Of It? State Attempts To Silence Social Media, Grace Slicklen

University of Miami Law Review

Freedom of speech is, unsurprisingly, foundational to the “land of the free.” However, the “land of the free” has undergone some changes since the First Amendment’s ratification. Unprecedented technological evolution has ushered in a digital forum in which the volume, speed, and reach of words transcend the Framers’ visions of the First Amendment’s aims. Social media platforms have become central spaces for public discourse, where opportunities to create—and repress—speech are endless. From enabling individuals to freely express their views, to allowing state actors to limit open exchanges, it is about time that the Supreme Court tackles this complex issue of …


Disrupting The Narrative: Diving Deeper Into Section 230 Political Discourse, Koustubh “K.J.” Bagchi, Elizabeth Banker, Ife Ogunleye Jul 2023

Disrupting The Narrative: Diving Deeper Into Section 230 Political Discourse, Koustubh “K.J.” Bagchi, Elizabeth Banker, Ife Ogunleye

Pepperdine Law Review

Online spaces have undoubtedly played a significant role in facilitating discourse and the exchange of information. With this increased discourse, however, digital platforms have also seen a rise in harmful or problematic content shared online––including health misinformation, hate speech, and child sex abuse material, among others. Many commentators have put the blame for this trend on Section 230, arguing that Section 230 has enabled the spread of harmful content and suggesting that Section 230 ought to be amended or replaced. This Essay, by contrast, argues that the current narrative about Section 230 gets it wrong. In reality, Section 230 has …


Q&A With Professor Timothy Zick, Author Of "Managed Dissent: The Law Of Public Protest", William & Mary Law School, Timothy Zick Jun 2023

Q&A With Professor Timothy Zick, Author Of "Managed Dissent: The Law Of Public Protest", William & Mary Law School, Timothy Zick

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Disinformation And The First Amendment: Fraud On The Public, Wes Henricksen Jun 2023

Disinformation And The First Amendment: Fraud On The Public, Wes Henricksen

St. John's Law Review

(Excerpt)

Following the 2020 presidential election, the losing candidate, Donald Trump, along with most of the Republican Party, spread the false claim that the election had been stolen by Democrats. Joe Biden, so the claim went, had not been legitimately elected, and was therefore an illegitimate President and needed to be removed. This profitable falsehood6 became known as the “Big Lie.” It was not only baseless, but it was in fact made in spite of and in direct conflict with the overwhelming evidence debunking it. This did not stop people from believing it. Millions bought into the Big Lie, which …


Tribal Statecraft And Freedom Of Expression In Jordan, Taylor Northcutt May 2023

Tribal Statecraft And Freedom Of Expression In Jordan, Taylor Northcutt

Honors Theses

In this research paper, I investigate the connection between the policies regarding freedom of speech and expression promulgated by the government of Jordan in the decade following the Arab Spring and Jordan’s tribal Bedouin heritage, with a focus on how traditional Bedouin values and attitudes regarding the nature and purpose of public spaces influence modern state policies regarding freedom of expression. In the investigation of this subject, I surveyed a diverse catalog of research covering politics and issues of freedom of expression in Jordan in the 2010s as well as the political and social values of tribal Arab culture in …


Nft For Eternity, Hadar Y. Jabotinsky, Michal Lavi Apr 2023

Nft For Eternity, Hadar Y. Jabotinsky, Michal Lavi

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are unique tokens stored on a digital ledger – the blockchain. They are meant to represent unique, non-interchangeable digital assets, as there is only one token with that exact data. Moreover, the information attached to the token cannot be altered as on a regular database. While copies of these digital items are available to all, NFTs are tracked on blockchains to provide the owner with proof of ownership. This possibility of buying and owning digital assets can be attractive to many individuals.

NFTs are presently at the stage of early adoption and their uses are expanding. In …


Free Speech On Campus: The Attack From Within, Kevin T. Baine Mar 2023

Free Speech On Campus: The Attack From Within, Kevin T. Baine

Hofstra Law Review

The article focuses on the lack of free speech and expression on university campuses, where students and faculty feel afraid to voice their opinions due to potential backlash and harassment.


"The Remedy To Be Applied Is More Speech": Rights, Responsibilities, And Obligations Of Free Expression At Law Schools, Frederick M. Lawrence Mar 2023

"The Remedy To Be Applied Is More Speech": Rights, Responsibilities, And Obligations Of Free Expression At Law Schools, Frederick M. Lawrence

Hofstra Law Review

The article focuses on the free expression jurisprudence developed by Justice Louis D. Brandeis and its application to institutions of higher learning, specifically law schools. Topics include the doctrine of protecting expression, the role of institutions in promoting free speech, and the challenges faced by institutional leaders in navigating difficult conversations.


A Pleasure To Burn: How First Amendment Jurisprudence On Book Banning Bolsters White Supremacy, Amy Anderson Jan 2023

A Pleasure To Burn: How First Amendment Jurisprudence On Book Banning Bolsters White Supremacy, Amy Anderson

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Terrible Freedom, Ambiguous Authenticity, And The Pragmatism Of The Endangered: Why Free Speech In Law School Gets Complicated, Leonard M. Niehoff Jan 2023

Terrible Freedom, Ambiguous Authenticity, And The Pragmatism Of The Endangered: Why Free Speech In Law School Gets Complicated, Leonard M. Niehoff

Articles

We idealize colleges and universities as places of unfettered inquiry, where freedom of expression flourishes. The Supreme Court has described the university classroom as “peculiarly the ‘marketplace of ideas.’” It declared: “The Nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to that robust exchange of ideas which discovers truth out of a multitude of tongues, [rather] than through any kind of authoritative selection.” The exchange of competing ideas takes place not only in classrooms, but also in public spaces, dormitories, student organizations, and in countless other campus contexts.


A More Capacious Concept Of Church, Philip Hackney, Samuel D. Brunson Jan 2023

A More Capacious Concept Of Church, Philip Hackney, Samuel D. Brunson

Articles

United States tax law provides churches with extra benefits and robust protection from IRS enforcement actions. Churches and religious organizations are automatically exempt from the income tax without needing to apply to be so recognized and without needing to file a tax return. Beyond that, churches are protected from audit by stringent procedures. There are good reasons to consider providing a distance between church and state, including the state tax authority. In many instances, Congress granted churches preferential tax treatment to try to avoid excess entanglement between church and state, though that preferential treatment often just shifts the locus of …


Chief Justice Mogoeng V Africa4palestine And Others [2021] Jsc/819/20; Jsc/825/20; And Jsc/ 826/20, Dunia P. Zongwe Nov 2022

Chief Justice Mogoeng V Africa4palestine And Others [2021] Jsc/819/20; Jsc/825/20; And Jsc/ 826/20, Dunia P. Zongwe

SAIPAR Case Review

This is a judgment against the first judge among his peers: the Chief Justice. Handed down by the Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC) of South Africa’s Judicial Service Commission (JSC), this judgment involves the remarks made in 2020 by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng at a webinar hosted by a pro-Israel, conservative, Zionist newspaper. During that webinar, Mogoeng criticized the South African government’s official policy on the Israel-Palestine conflict. Following Mogoeng’s faux pas and a loud public outcry, three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) lodged complaints with the JCC against Mogoeng for his Israel comments.

This appeal judgment largely confirms the JCC’s earlier complaint …


Incitement And Social Media-Algorithmic Speech: Redefining Brandenburg For A Different Kind Of Speech, Anna Rhoads Nov 2022

Incitement And Social Media-Algorithmic Speech: Redefining Brandenburg For A Different Kind Of Speech, Anna Rhoads

William & Mary Law Review

Assuming that these scholars are correct and that social media algorithms’ decisions qualify as speech to which the First Amendment applies (social media-algorithmic speech), this Note proposes a legal solution to the increasing problem of violence stemming from social media. This Note asserts that the incitement standard for social media-algorithmic speech should be less stringent because the Brandenburg standard does not apply well to new media, social media-algorithmic speech is much more likely than other speech to actually produce lawless action, and the traditional First Amendment justifications do not apply to social media algorithms’ speech. Therefore, the Supreme Court should …


Consider Freedom Of Speech: Perspectives On How To Hold Difficult Conversations With Respect, Vivian E. Hamilton, Andrew D. Stelljes Oct 2022

Consider Freedom Of Speech: Perspectives On How To Hold Difficult Conversations With Respect, Vivian E. Hamilton, Andrew D. Stelljes

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


Zero Rating As The Demon And The Saviour: Rethinking Net Neutrality And Freedom Of Expression For The Global South, Smarika Kumar Sep 2022

Zero Rating As The Demon And The Saviour: Rethinking Net Neutrality And Freedom Of Expression For The Global South, Smarika Kumar

Indian Journal of Law and Technology

Zero-rated mobile applications like Internet. org have been characterised both as a supposed exterminator of the digital divide and as a violation of net neutrality in developing countries like India. This serves to illustrate how net neutrality and bridging digital divide have been posited as goals in contradiction to each other. How this seeming contradiction is relevant to developing a more nuanced understanding of the freedom of speech and expression and of net neutrality is the subject of the present paper. Accordingly, the paper is divided into three broad sections: I begin by analysing how far different conceptions of freedom …


Fighting Words Today, R. George Wright Jun 2022

Fighting Words Today, R. George Wright

Pepperdine Law Review

For some time, the familiar free speech exception known as the “fighting words” doctrine has been subject to severe judicial and scholarly critique. It turns out, though, that the fighting words doctrine, in general, is neither obsolete nor in need of radical limitation. The traditionally neglected “inflict injury” prong of the fighting words doctrine can and should be vitalized, with only a minimal loss, if not an actual net gain, in promoting the basic purposes of freedom of speech in the first place. And the “reactive violence” prong can and should be relieved of its historic biases and dubious assumptions. …


Fundamental First Amendment Principles, David L. Hudson Jr., Jacob David Glenn May 2022

Fundamental First Amendment Principles, David L. Hudson Jr., Jacob David Glenn

Northern Illinois University Law Review

First Amendment law is highly complex, even labyrinthine. But, there are fundamental principles in First Amendment law that provide a baseline for a core understanding. These ten fundamental principles are: (1) the First Amendment protects the right to criticize the government; (2) the First Amendment abhors viewpoint discrimination and often content, or subject-matter discrimination; (3) the First Amendment protects a great deal of symbolic speech or expressive conduct; (4) the First Amendment protects a great deal of offensive and even repugnant speech; (5) the First Amendment does not protect all forms of speech; (6) the First Amendment often depends upon …


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 …


Republication Liability On The Web, Jeffrey Standen Apr 2022

Republication Liability On The Web, Jeffrey Standen

Marquette Law Review

The tort of defamation evolved in an era where defamatory speech was published in books, magazines, newspapers, or other printed documents. The doctrines that are antecedent to the tort, such as publication, fault, defamation per se, presumed damages, and republication liability, similarly presumed that most defamation would appear in written form in a published work. Similarly, the significant limitations on defamation liability that were produced by a succession of Supreme Court constitutional precedent, including restrictions on prior restraint, heightened fault standards, expanded “public” classes, the “fact/opinion” dichotomy, and the “truth/substantial truth” burden shifting, also were based on a publishing world …


The Coddling Of The American Worker's Mind: The Anti-Free Speech Nature Of Popular Labor Law Reforms, Daniel V. Johns Mar 2022

The Coddling Of The American Worker's Mind: The Anti-Free Speech Nature Of Popular Labor Law Reforms, Daniel V. Johns

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

As the nation enters an era in which a new presidential administration will likely push such labor law reforms, it is worth considering whether transparently anti-free speech reform measures make sense for the future of labor policy and law. This Article argues that they do not. Because employee free choice is furthered, not diminished, by hearing both sides of an issue, American workers should have the opportunity to hear and evaluate employer speech in the course of union campaigns. Only then can employees make an informed decision about their workplace future. In the end, freedom of speech furthers employee freedom …


Searching For Truth In The First Amendment's True Threat Doctrine, Renee Griffin Feb 2022

Searching For Truth In The First Amendment's True Threat Doctrine, Renee Griffin

Michigan Law Review

Threats of violence, even when not actually carried out, can inflict real damage. As such, state and federal laws criminalize threats in a wide range of circumstances. But threats are also speech, and free speech is broadly protected by the First Amendment. The criminalization of threats is nonetheless possible because of Supreme Court precedents denying First Amendment protection to “true threats.” Yet a crucial question remains unanswered: What counts as a true threat?

This Note examines courts’ attempts to answer this question and identifies the many ambiguities that have resulted from those attempts. In particular, this piece highlights three frontiers …


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 …


Protecting Women's Voices: Preventing Retaliatory Defamation Claims In The #Metoo Context, Nicole Ligon Jan 2022

Protecting Women's Voices: Preventing Retaliatory Defamation Claims In The #Metoo Context, Nicole Ligon

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


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 …


Education Is Speech: Parental Free Speech In Education, Philip A. Hamburger Jan 2022

Education Is Speech: Parental Free Speech In Education, Philip A. Hamburger

Faculty Scholarship

Education is speech. This simple point is profoundly important. Yet it rarely gets attention in the First Amendment and education scholarship.

Among the implications are those for public schools. All the states require parents to educate their minor children and at the same time offer parents educational support in the form of state schooling. States thereby press parents to take government educational speech in place of their own. Under both the federal and state speech guarantees, states cannot pressure parents, either directly or through conditions, to give up their own educational speech, let alone substitute state educational speech. This abridges …


The Everyday First Amendment, Leonard M. Niehoff, Thomas Sullivan Jan 2022

The Everyday First Amendment, Leonard M. Niehoff, Thomas Sullivan

Articles

On June 26 and June 27, 2019, some twenty contenders for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States participated in two evenings of political debate. The outsized group included Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who was struggling to gain traction with voters. Shortly after the debate, while many viewers were conducting online searches to learn more about the candidates, Google temporarily suspended her campaign’s advertising account.

Google claimed that the interruption occurred because an automated system flagged unusual activity on the account. But Gabbard did not accept this explanation; she believed that Google deliberately had tried to undermine …


Manipulation And The First Amendment, Helen Norton Dec 2021

Manipulation And The First Amendment, Helen Norton

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

This Article examines new conceptual tools for understanding manipulation and its harms. More specifically, Part I draws from ethicists' insights to explain how manipulation can inflict harms distinct from those imposed by coercion and deception, and to explain why addressing these distinct harms is a government interest sufficiently strong to justify appropriately tailored interventions.

Part II explores how these conceptual tools also help us understand when, how, and why government can regulate manipulation consistent with the First Amendment. As a threshold matter, note that manipulative online interfaces and related design choices may be better understood as conduct, rather than speech …