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Citizens United, Stevens and Humanitarian Law Project: First Amendment Rules and Standards in Three Acts

14 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2010  

William D. Araiza

Brooklyn Law School

Date Written: November 29, 2010

Abstract

This essay, written for a symposium on the Roberts Court's five-term anniversary, considers three First Amendment cases from the most recent Supreme Court term: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, United States v. Stevens, and Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project (HLP). In these cases the Court first applied and then (in HLP) retreated from strict doctrinal rules and refusals to defer to congressional and executive determinations relevant to the First Amendment issue. This essay uses the occasion of the Roberts Court's anniversary and Justice Stevens' retirement to take a fresh look to the old question of whether rigid doctrinal rules or context-rich principles are most appropriate in constitutional jurisprudence. In particular, it considers whether rigid rules truly succeed in cabining judicial temptation to uphold speech restrictions when those restrictions respond to serious, legitimate concerns or popular calls for restricting speech.

Keywords: New Governance, Judicial Review, Administrative Law, Standing

Suggested Citation

Araiza, William D., Citizens United, Stevens and Humanitarian Law Project: First Amendment Rules and Standards in Three Acts (November 29, 2010). Brooklyn Law School, Legal Studies Paper No. 213. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1717049

William D. Araiza (Contact Author)

Brooklyn Law School ( email )

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
United States

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