Albany Law Review Symposium “What Are We Saying? Violence, Vulgarity, Lies . . . And The Importance Of 21st Century Free Speech”

The Albany Law Review had a terrific symposium on free speech. Here is their description of the symposium and the links to the excellent pieces.

In recent years, the United States Supreme Court has issued a number of head-turning decisions regarding freedom of speech under the First Amendment. Taken as a whole, some might say that the Roberts Court appears somewhat schizophrenic on free speech and expression issues. This is the Court that stretched the boundaries of free speech, recognizing First Amendment protections for selling violent video games to minors, lying about receiving military honors, protesting at the funerals of soldiers, and–perhaps most controversially of all–contributing to political campaigns through independent expenditures by corporations and unions. Yet this is also the Court that constrained free speech by saying that the First Amendment did not protect a district attorney who criticized a policy set by his supervisor, that the First Amendment did not protect high school students punished for posting remarks on the Internet outside school grounds, and that the First Amendment did not protect a humanitarian aid organization that provided non-violent educational materials to a group deemed by the U.S. government to be a threat. Clearly, a split record with some interesting lines that appear to be drawn. This symposium examines these recent decisions by the Roberts Court, exploring both the impact of these decisions and the direction in which the Supreme Court really seems to be going on matters of free expression. Leading First Amendment scholars and advocates grapple with some of the major modern issues in this area: academic freedom, modern-day limits on “hate speech,” government stifling of political dissent, restrictions on free expression on the Internet and on television, First Amendment problems in  criminal conspiracy laws. Additionally, the symposium includes two transcripts of lively discussions on free speech issues: a debate between First Amendment heavyweights Floyd Abrams and Alan B. Morrison on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and a panel discussion about the Roberts Court’s free speech jurisprudence moderated by NY Times Supreme Court correspondent Adam Liptak. Through these articles and transcripts, we provide a look through the eyes of experts at what the Roberts Court really is saying about contemporary freedom of speech, and a series of viewpoints on whether this direction really is favorable for our modern society.”

Ronald K.L. Collins……Foreword: Exceptional Freedom—The Roberts Court, the First Amendment, and the New Absolutism

Robert M. O’Neil ………Hate Speech, Fighting Words, and Beyond–Why American Law is Unique

Rodney A. Smolla……..Categories, Tiers of Review, and the Roiling Sea of Free Speech Doctrine and Principle: A Methodological Critique of United States v. Alvarez

Jeffery C. Barnum………Encouraging Congress to Encourage Speech: Reflections on United States v. Alvarez

Marjorie Heins……….The Supreme Court and Political Speech in the 21st Century: The Implications of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project

R. George Wright………Are There First Amendment “Vacuums?”: The Case of the Free Speech Challenge to Tobacco Package Labeling Requirement

Robert D. Richards & David J. Weinert………Punting in the First Amendment’s Red Zone: The Supreme Court’s “Indecision” on the FCC’s Indecency Regulations Leaves Broadcasters Still Searching For Answers

Marvin Ammori & Luke Pelican………Media Diversity and Online Advertising

Martin H. Redish & Michael J.T. Downey………Criminal Conspiracy as Free Expression

Owen Fiss……..The Democratic Mission of the University

Welcome & Opening Remarks…….Benjamin P. Pomerance

Debate on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission…….Floyd Abrams and Alan B. Morrison, moderated by Ronald K.L. Collins

Panel Discussion on Recent U.S. Supreme Court Free Speech Cases and Their Implications……Adam Liptak (moderator), Ronald K.L. Collins, Susan N. Herman, Alan B. Morrison, Robert M. O’Neil, Robert D. Richards

You may also like...