The Politics of Free Speech
greg.sisk at DRAKE.EDU
Tue Sep 10 13:03:40 PDT 2002
I suppose one purely legal theory would be Justice Black's mantra
regarding the First Amendment and free speech: "No law" means "no
law". But that absolutist approach, while theoretically coherent,
proves practically impossible, even for Justice Black. Still, from a
textual and legalistic standpoint, one might argue that the seemingly
mandatory and absolute prohibition of "no law" creates a rather
powerful presumption against limiting any expression for any reason,
regardless of theory or politics or even (mostly) practical policy
Richard M. & Anita Calkins
Drake University Law School
2507 University Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50311-4505
greg.sisk at drake.edu
>>From: Scott Gerber <s-gerber at ONU.EDU>
>>Subject: The Politics of Free Speech
>>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>>I'm currently working on a paper for a philosophy conference on free
>>speech. My paper, tentatively titled "The Politics of Free Speech,"
>>addresses how particular interest groups have advanced particular
>>approaches to free speech in order to advance their particular political
>>agendas. I anticipate examining the free speech theories of feminists
>>(regarding pornography), critical race theorists (regarding hate speech),
>>libertarians (regarding commercial speech), and communitarians (regarding
>>deliberative democracy). I also will address the criticisms of each of
>>these approaches (I realize there are differences of opinion w/i each
>>category), whether the courts have been influenced by any of the groups'
>>arguments, and, in conclusion, whether it is possible to advance a
>>non-political theory of free speech.
>>It's this last point with which I'm having trouble. More specifically,
>>I've yet to encounter a purely law-based theory of free speech. Perhaps
>>the Crits are right. If not, I would be grateful for citations to any
>>scholarship that attempts to articulate a purely-law based theory of free
>>speech. Off-list suggestions are fine.
>>Thank you very much,
>>Ohio Northern University
>>s-gerber at onu.edu
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