Free Speech on Trial: Communication Perspectives on Landmark Supreme Court Decisions / Edition 1

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Overview

Describes landmark free speech decisions of the Supreme Court while highlighting the issues of language, rhetoric, and communication that underlie them.

At the intersection of communication and First Amendment law reside two significant questions: What is the speech we ought to protect, and why should we protect it? The 20 scholars of legal communication whose essays are gathered in this volume propose various answers to these questions, but their essays share an abiding concern with a constitutional guarantee of free speech and its symbiotic relationship with communication practices.

Free Speech on Trial fills a gap between textbooks that summarize First Amendment law and books that analyze case law and legal theory. These essays explore questions regarding the significance of unregulated speech in a marketplace of goods and ideas, the limits of offensive language and obscenity as expression, the power of symbols, and consequences of restraint prior to publication versus the subsequent punishment of sources. As one example, Craig Smith cites Buckley vs. Valeo to examine how the context of corruption in the 1974 elections shaped the Court's view of the constitutionality of campaign contributions and expenditures.

Collectively, the essays in this volume suggest that the life of free speech law is communication. The contributors reveal how the Court's free speech opinions constitute discursive performances that fashion, deconstruct, and reformulate the contours and parameters of the Constitution’s guarantee of free expression and that, ultimately, reconstitute our government, our culture, and our society.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Good case studies examined by a good mix of accomplished and not so well known contributors. . . . This book will stimulate communication scholars to examine the implicit communication theory of free speech afresh."
—Thomas W. Benson, Pennsylvania State University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817350253
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard A. Parker is Professor of Speech Communication at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

 

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
Communication Studies and Free Speech Law 9
Schenck v. United States and Abrams v. United States 20
Whitney v. California 36
Stromberg V. California 52
Near v. Minnesota 69
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire 85
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette 100
New York Times v. Sullivan 116
United States v. O'Brien 130
Brandenburg v. Ohio 145
Cohen v. California 160
Kleindienst v. Mandel 172
Miller v. California 187
Buckley v. Valeo 203
FCC v. Pacifica Foundation 218
Central Hudson Gas & Electric v. Public Service Commission 234
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier 250
Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell 264
Texas v. Johnson 281
Reno v. ACLU 298
Conclusion 313
Contributors 327
Case Index 331
Subject Index 339
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