Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2164359
 
 

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Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan: Recusing Freedom of Speech


Jeffrey M. Shaman


DePaul University - College of Law

July 19, 2012

American Constitution Society Issue Brief, July 2012
Re-published in ADVANCE--The Journal of the American Constitution Society, Vol. 6, Fall 2012

Abstract:     
In Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan, the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment was not violated by a state ethics rule prohibiting public officials from voting on legislative matters with respect to which they have a conflict of interest. Carrigan is one of those cases where the Supreme Court reached the right result for the wrong reasons - in this instance, egregiously wrong reasons that threaten First Amendment principles. Justice Scalia’s majority opinion in the case takes the position that the vote of a member of a state legislature is not an expressive act and therefore is entitled to no protection whatsoever under the First Amendment. This position establishes a dangerous principle that seriously restricts the meaning of free speech. Moreover, Justice Scalia’s reasoning in the case is by turns incoherent, illogical, and disrespectful of precedent. Had Justice Scalia been willing to follow long-standing First Amendment doctrine, the case could have been decided the same way without setting forth the dangerous principle that a legislator’s vote is not an expressive act under the First Amendment.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 10

Keywords: Freedom of Speech, Right to Vote

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Date posted: October 19, 2012 ; Last revised: May 4, 2013

Suggested Citation

Shaman, Jeffrey M., Nevada Commission on Ethics v. Carrigan: Recusing Freedom of Speech (July 19, 2012). Re-published in ADVANCE--The Journal of the American Constitution Society, Vol. 6, Fall 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2164359

Contact Information

Jeffrey M. Shaman (Contact Author)
DePaul University - College of Law ( email )
25 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL Cook County 60604-2287
United States

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