Firing of high school teacher for NAMBLA-related political
LAWRDC at MAIL1.HOFSTRA.EDU
Fri Mar 1 12:08:13 PST 2002
crossf at MAIL.UTEXAS.EDU 02/28/02 05:06PM wrote:
While I can see that the court's assessment of the value of the speech is
troubling, in a slippery slope kind of perspective, isn't it done all the
time. Doesn't obscenity lose protection because it's not protected speech
(based on an assessment of its value)? Why are defamatory words or
fighting words unprotected? Is it because reputation or the risk of
violence trumps first amendment values? I always assumed it was because of a balancing of the relative lack of value of that sort of speech.
Surely it was because of value judgments about the speech involved, but as long as the Court stuck to the old historically unprotected areas (obscenity, libel), there wasn't much of a slippery slope. As it starts rebalancing areas previously not unprotected (e.g., speech that's dangerous to minors), it seems to be heading down the hill. That's not to say whether it should or shouldn't, just that the old rationale becomes a slippery slope when not confined to the old results.
Hofstra Law School
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