One of the trans-border concerns I’ll address in my book, The Cosmopolitan First Amendment, relates to the exportation of First Amendment norms and standards. Generally speaking, provincialism and cosmopolitanism both aspire to facilitate the spread of First Amendment norms and standards — although, as I will explain in the book, they differ in important respects with regard to the preferred means of exportation.
In a broad sense, exportation can take many forms. For example, refusal to recognize foreign libel judgments may indirectly result in the exportation of American libel standards. Extraterritorial application of some U.S. laws may effectively export U.S. free speech principles to foreign countries. Voluntary, or court-ordered, compliance with First Amendment standards in cases where aliens’ expressive or religious liberties are affected abroad would also constitute a form of exportation. Conditional spending measures could prohibit American companies working abroad from assisting repressive foreign regimes. Federal legislation might commit the U.S., at least in principle, to facilitating and protecting religious and expressive liberties throughout the world. Exportation through legislation may be somewhat effective in terms of expanding the domain of First Amendment norms. These and other measures may result in expansion of the First Amendment’s actual domain, or at least signal an intent to facilitate expressive and religious liberties regardless of location. In truth, however, these measures are not likely to produce substantial exportation of First Amendment norms and standards. Read More