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Monday, August 11, 2014

Informal survey

Informal survey time (I raised this on some listservs last week and wanted to try a different audience):

If you were to make a short list of five (5) of the most important free speech opinions (majority, concurrence, or dissent), what would they be? I want to drop a footnote in the intro of an article, so I welcome input. I am looking for both rhetorical and practical power, as well as rhetorical and practical effect in the development of modern, speech-protective free speech jurisprudence. Note that since I am focusing on the development of the broad free speech protection we have in the U.S., I am primarily looking for opinions that sided with the speech claimant.

My tentative list (in no particular order): 1) Holmes dissent in Abrams; 2) Brandeis concurrence in Whitney; 3) Barnette; 4) Sullivan; 5) Cohen v. California (I originally had Texas v. Johnson or Reno v. ACLU here, but people convinced me that Cohen is more significant).

Have at it.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on August 11, 2014 at 09:31 AM in Constitutional thoughts, First Amendment, Howard Wasserman | Permalink


Campaign finance worth including?

Posted by: anon | Aug 11, 2014 4:36:02 PM

You've artificially limited it to five, but any list without Cohen, Barnette, and Brandeis's concurrence in Whitney is incomplete.

Posted by: Dalvino | Aug 11, 2014 1:38:44 PM

I admit it's artificial, but I wanted a "short list." But I did include Sullivan--that's actually the focus of the paper that spawned the post.

Posted by: Howard Wasserman | Aug 11, 2014 11:10:25 AM

You've artificially limited it to five, but any list without New York Times v. Sullivan is incomplete.

Posted by: LB Lidsky | Aug 11, 2014 11:03:04 AM

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