Hate Speech, Pornography, and the Radical Attack on Free Speech Doctrine

By James Weinstein | Go to book overview

2
THEORY AND HISTORY

The goal of free speech doctrine can be easily stated: forbidding government from suppressing speech that must be permitted in a free and democratic society while allowing it to punish speech that causes harm that government may legitimately prevent. Accomplishing this goal is not so easy. Clearly, there is some expression, such as advocacy of law or policy reform through peaceful, democratic means, that must be protected against government suppression. Just as surely government must not be constitutionally inhibited from prohibiting speech such as perjury, bribery, or solicitation to murder. But what about speech that advocates social change through violence or other forms of law violation or that defames public officials? Or political protests that use offensive phrases like "fuck the draft" or inflammatory symbols such as flag burning? Or sexually explicit speech whose primary purpose and effect is sexual arousal?

In order to decide hard cases like these, we must have a fairly clear vision of why the Constitution limits the government's power to suppress speech. To this end, in the first section of this chapter I attempt to identify the various values underlying American free speech doctrine. Like all law, though, free speech doctrine is not just a product of theory but of experience and pragmatic judgment as well. As we shall see, early attempts to construct constitutional rules to separate protected from suppressible speech did not adequately account for the tendency of legislators, prosecutors, and even judges to confuse offensive critique of government policies with speech that actually impedes the government's ability to carry out its legitimate functions. I therefore review in some detail what are now seen as failed attempts to construct free speech doctrine that correctly strikes the balance between the individual's right to critique society and the government's ability to accomplish its proper goals.

-11-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Hate Speech, Pornography, and the Radical Attack on Free Speech Doctrine
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 284

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.