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Freedom of speech

First Amendment

2012

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Chicago-Kent College of Law

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To Drink The Cup Of Fury: Funeral Picketing, Public Discourse And The First Amendment, Steven J. Heyman Nov 2012

To Drink The Cup Of Fury: Funeral Picketing, Public Discourse And The First Amendment, Steven J. Heyman

All Faculty Scholarship

In Snyder v. Phelps, the Supreme Court held that the Westboro Baptist Church had a First Amendment right to picket the funeral of a young soldier killed in Iraq. This decision reinforces a position that has become increasingly prevalent in First Amendment jurisprudence – the view that the state may not regulate public discourse to protect individuals from emotional or dignitary injury. In this Article, I argue that this view is deeply problematic for two reasons: it unduly sacrifices the value of individual personality and it tends to undermine the sphere of public discourse itself by negating the practical and …