[The] Roberts Court and the Freedom of Speech (21731). 1 unit. This course will explore two related questions. After ten terms, what is distinctive about the Roberts Court's free speech jurisprudence? Is the protection of free expression, long thought to be a liberal cause, now a conservative one? The course will consider a series of decisions in which the Court protected unpopular, deeply distasteful and painful speech uttered by marginal and often politically powerless speakers. It will then explore the charge that the Court has engaged in a sort of twenty-first century "Lochnerism" in subjecting well-established economic regulations to far too skeptical review in the name of the First Amendment. That opens the door to a more general consideration of the scope and application of First Amendment strict scrutiny in the Roberts Court. The course will conclude with looks at one area that has deeply engaged the Court (campaign finance) and one that has not (the freedom of the press). Paper required. F. Abrams and A. Liptak.
Note: This course will meet for seven two-hour sessions on February 18 and 25; March 3, 10, 24, and 31; and April 7.