Freedom of Speech on Private Property

Freedom of Speech on Private Property

Freedom of Speech on Private Property

Freedom of Speech on Private Property

Synopsis

"The author offers an extensive survey of the most important court decisions that have attempted to delineate the rights of those who want to express their views and those who want to control access to private property. Among the other topics discussed are commercial speech, political advertising, picketing, and pornography. Extensively documented; it contains a selected bibliography, a subject index, and a case index. Written with a legal audience in mind, but may be read with profit by others interested in the topic. For upper levels." Choice

Excerpt

The First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech is meaningless unless one can exercise that right on public property as well as on private property, and recognition of this postulate is at the heart of this single volume of constitutional law. But there are restrictions on the exercise of this fundamental right of free speech, as set forth particularly in Chapter 2. These restrictions or limitations embrace what is politely delineated as "private property," an amorphous concept that constantly demands re-definition. the role of the states is important, for there the Fourteenth Amendment comes into play (as described in Chapter 4); equal treatment before the law and due process of the law are the subjects of Chapters 4, 5, and 6.

Chapter 7 delves into "commercial speech" and defines its protection under the First Amendment. Chapter 8 takes on the militant topic of billboards and political advertising with resulting restrictions, while Chapter 9 is concerned with the pragmatics of picketing, pamphleteering, petitioning, electioneering, and the right to demonstrate--all viewed from the catbird seat of the First Amendment. the final chapter opens up the discussion of sex and the First Amendment; pornography, prostitution, obscenity, and ethnic, racial, and other offensive slurs are all examined in terms of their lack of protection under the First Amendment. There are also sections on cable television and, finally, a parting glimpse at English law on First Amendment practices.

The author submits that this single volume, touching so many bases of First Amendment protection, answers the question of how First Amendment protection can be meaningfully extended to public and to private property. Where courts hem in this fundamental right of freedom of speech, in whatever its form, the constitutional plague is upon all other fundamental rights of the person.

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