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http://ssrn.com/abstract=2051048
 
 

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Justice Kennedy's Free Speech Jurisprudence: A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis


Ashutosh Avinash Bhagwat


University of California, Davis - School of Law

Matthew Struhar


affiliation not provided to SSRN

May 4, 2012

McGeorge Law Review, Forthcoming
UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 301

Abstract:     
In the almost twenty-five years that Justice Anthony M. Kennedy has served on the United States Supreme Court, he has gained a reputation as being the foremost defender of free speech principles on the modern Court. In this paper, we seek to determine whether Justice Kennedy’s reputation as a defender of free speech principles is justified. To that end, we undertake both a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the Supreme Court’s free speech jurisprudence during the period of Justice Kennedy’s tenure on the Court (i.e., from February 11, 1988 through the present), with a view towards determining whether Justice Kennedy has been more likely to support free-speech rights than the Court as a whole. Our clear conclusion is that as a quantitative matter, Justice Kennedy is in fact substantially more likely to defend free speech claims than the Court as a whole, across a wide range of First Amendment disputes. In addition, an examination of his majority and separate opinions in free speech cases demonstrates that Justice Kennedy has during his tenure made important and lasting contributions to the law of freedom of speech, most of which have expanded rather than contracted First Amendment liberties.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 30

Keywords: free speech, Justice Kennedy, First Amendment, quantitative, qualitative

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Date posted: May 4, 2012 ; Last revised: June 16, 2012

Suggested Citation

Bhagwat, Ashutosh Avinash and Struhar, Matthew, Justice Kennedy's Free Speech Jurisprudence: A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis (May 4, 2012). McGeorge Law Review, Forthcoming; UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 301. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2051048

Contact Information

Ashutosh A. Bhagwat (Contact Author)
University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )
Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
Davis, CA 95616-5201
United States
(530) 752-8687 (Phone)

Matthew Struhar
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
Feedback to SSRN


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