Outstanding Academic Title, Choice, 1995
"What makes Lane's approach unique is that he weaves together different perspectives on the nature of school into a very colorful but informative and lucid tapestry that seeks the outer limits of free expression within the boundaries of the school context, always with an eye toward promoting the goal of inculcation of values, a worthy end for students and school officials alike."
--Samuel M. Davis, Allen Post Professor of Law, University of Georgia
*In a 1969 landmark case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the suspension of student for protesting the Vietnam War violated the First Amendment.
*In 1972, the U.S. court of appeals upheld the suspension of black high school students for protesting the playing of "Dixie" at a pep rally.
*In 1986, a U.S. district court ruled that the suspension of a student for directing a vulgar gesture at one of his school teachers in a fast-food restaurant was unconstitutional.
On what grounds do public school students merit First Amendment protection? These three examples illustrate the broad range of litigation that has attempted to answer this question. Robert Wheeler Lane reviews the obstacles of this important issue and suggests a mix of protection and autonomy for students.
Pulling together evidence about the aims of public education, the changing legal status of children, and the values underlying freedom of expression, Lane debates the relationship between constitutional litigation and the dual pursuits of academic excellence and classroom order. Ultimately, utilizing both lower court and Supreme Court decisions, he finds that independent student expression deserves considerable constitutional protection; student expression assisted by school officials (such as school-funded student newspapers) should be subject to some control; and nonstudent expression (such as a school's selection of library books) should be left largely to the school's discretion. His conclusions suggest that in forging First Amendment protection for public school students, strongly held positions need not be extreme.
Courting the Abyss updates the philosophy of free expression for a world that is very different from the one in which it originated. The notion that a free society should allow Klansmen, neo-Nazis, sundry extremists, and pornographers to spread their doctrines as freely as everyone else has come increasingly under fire. At the same time, in the wake of 9/11, the Right and the Left continue to wage war over the utility of an absolute vision of free speech in a time of increased national security. Courting the Abyss revisits the tangled history of free speech, finding resolutions to these debates hidden at the very roots of the liberal tradition.
A mesmerizing account of the role of public communication in the Anglo-American world, Courting the Abyss shows that liberty's earliest advocates recognized its fraternal relationship with wickedness and evil. While we understand freedom of expression to mean "anything goes," John Durham Peters asks why its advocates so often celebrate a sojourn in hell and the overcoming of suffering. He directs us to such well-known sources as the prose and poetry of John Milton and the political and philosophical theory of John Locke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., as well as lesser-known sources such as the theology of Paul of Tarsus. In various ways they all, he shows, envisioned an attitude of self-mastery or self-transcendence as a response to the inevitable dangers of free speech, a troubled legacy that continues to inform ruling norms about knowledge, ethical responsibility, and democracy today.
A world of gigabytes, undiminished religious passion, and relentless scientific discovery calls for a fresh account of liberty that recognizes its risk and its splendor. Instead of celebrating noxious doctrine as proof of society's robustness, Courting the Abyss invites us to rethink public communication today by looking more deeply into the unfathomable mystery of liberty and evil.
While freedom of speech has been guaranteed us for centuries, the First Amendment as we know it today is largely a creation of the past eighty years. Eternally Vigilant brings together a group of distinguished legal scholars to reflect boldly on its past, its present shape, and what forms our understanding of it might take in the future. The result is a unique volume spanning the entire spectrum of First Amendment issues, from its philosophical underpinnings to specific issues like campaign regulation, obscenity, and the new media.
"With group efforts, such as this collection of essays, it is almost inevitable that there will be a couple—and often several—duds among the bunch, or at least a dismaying repetition of ideas. Such is not the case here. . . . Whether one agrees with a given author or not (and it is possible to do both with any of the essays), each has something to add. Overall, Eternally Vigilant is a thoughtful and thought-provoking book, consistently intelligent and, at times, brilliant."—Richard J. Mollot, New York Law Journal
Lillian R. BeVier
Lee C. Bollinger
Owen M. Fiss
R. Kent Greenawalt
Richard A. Posner
Robert C. Post
Geoffrey R. Stone
David A. Strauss
Cass R. Sunstein
Free Speech and Unfree News
Sam Lebovic Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress Z658.U5L43 2016 | Dewey Decimal 323.44509730904
Does America have a free press? Many who say yes appeal to First Amendment protections against censorship. Sam Lebovic shows that free speech, on its own, is not sufficient to produce a free press and helps us understand the crises that beset the press amid media consolidation, a secretive national security state, and the daily newspaper’s decline.
Describes landmark free speech decisions of the Supreme Court while highlighting the issues of language, rhetoric, and communication that underlie them.
At the intersection of communication and First Amendment law reside two significant questions: What is the speech we ought to protect, and why should we protect it? The 20 scholars of legal communication whose essays are gathered in this volume propose various answers to these questions, but their essays share an abiding concern with a constitutional guarantee of free speech and its symbiotic relationship with communication practices.
Free Speech on Trial fills a gap between textbooks that summarize First Amendment law and books that analyze case law and legal theory. These essays explore questions regarding the significance of unregulated speech in a marketplace of goods and ideas, the limits of offensive language and obscenity as expression, the power of symbols, and consequences of restraint prior to publication versus the subsequent punishment of sources. As one example, Craig Smith cites Buckley vs. Valeo to examine how the context of corruption in the 1974 elections shaped the Court's view of the constitutionality of campaign contributions and expenditures.
Collectively, the essays in this volume suggest that the life of free speech law is communication. The contributors reveal how the Court's free speech opinions constitute discursive performances that fashion, deconstruct, and reformulate the contours and parameters of the Constitution’s guarantee of free expression and that, ultimately, reconstitute our government, our culture, and our society.
Modern ideas about the protection of free speech in the United States did not originate in twentieth-century Supreme Court cases, as many have thought. Free Speech, “The People’s Darling Privilege” refutes this misconception by examining popular struggles for free speech that stretch back through American history. Michael Kent Curtis focuses on struggles in which ordinary and extraordinary people, men and women, black and white, demanded and fought for freedom of speech during the period from 1791—when the Bill of Rights and its First Amendment bound only the federal government to protect free expression—to 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment sought to extend this mandate to the states. A review chapter is also included to bring the story up to date. Curtis analyzes three crucial political struggles: the controversy that surrounded the 1798 Sedition Act, which raised the question of whether criticism of elected officials would be protected speech; the battle against slavery, which raised the question of whether Americans would be free to criticize a great moral, social, and political evil; and the controversy over anti-war speech during the Civil War. Many speech issues raised by these controversies were ultimately decided outside the judicial arena—in Congress, in state legislatures, and, perhaps most importantly, in public discussion and debate. Curtis maintains that modern proposals for changing free speech doctrine can usefully be examined in the light of this often ignored history. This broader history shows the crucial effect that politicians, activists, ordinary citizens—and later the courts—have had on the American understanding of free speech. Filling a gap in legal history, this enlightening, richly researched historical investigation will be valuable for students and scholars of law, U.S. history, and political science, as well as for general readers interested in civil liberties and free speech.
When Breeze FM, a radio station in the provincial Zambian town of Chipata, hired an elderly retired schoolteacher in 2003, no one anticipated the skyrocketing success that would follow. A self-styled grandfather on air, Gogo Breeze seeks intimacy over the airwaves and dispenses advice on a wide variety of grievances and transgressions. Multiple voices are broadcast and juxtaposed through call-ins and dialogue, but free speech finds its ally in the radio elder who, by allowing people to be heard and supporting their claims, reminds authorities of their obligations toward the disaffected.
Harri Englund provides a masterfully detailed study of this popular radio personality that addresses broad questions of free speech in Zambia and beyond. By drawing on ethnographic insights into political communication, Englund presents multivocal morality as an alternative to dominant Euro-American perspectives, displacing the simplistic notion of voice as individual personal property—an idea common in both policy and activist rhetoric. Instead, Englund focuses on the creativity and polyphony of Zambian radio while raising important questions about hierarchy, elderhood, and ethics in the public sphere.
A lively, engaging portrait of an extraordinary personality, Gogo Breeze will interest Africanists, scholars of radio and mass media, and anyone interested in the history and future of free speech.
The Great War Comes to Wisconsin examines Wisconsin’s response to World War I, the first "total war" of the twentieth century, a war so large that it engaged virtually everyone.
Instead of a comprehensive history of the battlefield, this book captures the homefront experience: the political debates over war policy, the worry over loved ones fighting overseas, the countless everyday sacrifices, and the impact of a wartime hysteria that drove dissent underground. It also includes the voices of soldiers from Wisconsin’s famed 32nd Division, through extensively quoted letters and newspaper accounts. Immerse yourself in the Wisconsin experience during World War I—a conflict that demonstrated America’s great capacity for sacrifice and generosity, but also for prejudice, intolerance, and injustice.
The Irony of Free Speech
Owen M. Fiss Harvard University Press, 1996 Library of Congress KF4772.F57 1996 | Dewey Decimal 342.730853
The Taming of Free Speech
Laura Weinrib Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress KF4772.W44 2016 | Dewey Decimal 342.730853
Laura Weinrib shows how a coalition of lawyers and activists made judicial enforcement of the Bill of Rights a defining feature of American democracy. Protection of civil liberties was a calculated bargain between liberals and conservatives to save the courts from New Deal attack and secure free speech for both labor radicals and businesses.
How did slavery and race impact American literature in the nineteenth century? In this ambitious book, Michael T. Gilmore argues that they were the carriers of linguistic restriction, and writers from Frederick Douglass to Stephen Crane wrestled with the demands for silence and circumspection that accompanied the antebellum fear of disunion and the postwar reconciliation between the North and South.
Proposing a radical new interpretation of nineteenth-century American literature, The War on Words examines struggles over permissible and impermissible utterance in works ranging from Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” to Henry James’s The Bostonians. Combining historical knowledge with groundbreaking readings of some of the classic texts of the American past, The War on Words places Lincoln’s Cooper Union address in the same constellation as Margaret Fuller’s feminism and Thomas Dixon’s defense of lynching. Arguing that slavery and race exerted coercive pressure on freedom of expression, Gilmore offers here a transformative study that alters our understanding of nineteenth-century literary culture and its fraught engagement with the right to speak.