‘Freedom of Speech and Bad Purposes’: The podcast

The UCLA Law Review has put up a podcast in which Lucy Williams and I talk about my article, “Freedom of Speech and Bad Purposes.” Here’s the abstract of the article:

Can otherwise constitutionally protected speech lose its protection because of the speaker’s supposedly improper purpose?

The Supreme Court has sometimes said “no” — but sometimes it has endorsed tests (such as the incitement test) that do turn on a speaker’s purpose. Some lower courts have likewise rejected purpose tests. But others hold that, for instance, a purpose to annoy or distress can turn otherwise protected speech into criminal “harassment,” or that a selfish purpose can strip protection from otherwise protected government employee speech.

This Article analyzes purpose tests in First Amendment law, and concludes that such tests are on balance unsound; the protection of speech should not turn on what a factfinder concludes about the speaker’s purposes.

Spice up your drive to work by listening. Thanks to Boris Mindzak for his production work on this.

Originally Found On: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/11/16/freedom-of-speech-and-bad-purposes-the-podcast/


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