In previous posts about a recent article, I argue that it’s both descriptively inaccurate and normatively problematic to think that the First Amendment embodies merely a negative liberty—a freedom from government interference in matters of speech, even if government is acting to open additional avenues of speech for all. I claimed that what many people now consider doctrinal “exceptions” to the negative liberty model govern much of our speech and reflect overlooked substantive principles regarding the First Amendment’s role in ensuring individuals’ access to spaces for speech.
This post is about the first of the five principles that work together to reveal the First Amendment’s concern with availability of speech spaces.
As a matter of judicial mandate, individuals must have access to some basic, minimal spaces for speech. These include private spaces for reflection and opinion-forming and public spaces for debate.