Green Bag 2D, Vol. 9, No. 1, p. 17, Autumn 2005
7 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2011
Date Written: 2005
As a constitutional matter, the “academic freedom” of professors and teachers is something people talk about, but never seem to define. Do academics have more expressive freedom than other people? If so, who counts as an academic? Should academics receive preferential free speech protection even when they act “unacademically”? Many questions and few pat answers.
In this short essay, we hope to pragmatically nudge doctrine in this area towards coherence. To do that, we first critically describe the competing approaches courts use in academic freedom cases. Then we briefly identify two basic conceptual issues. Finally, we offer several suggestions to centralize the debate by resolving some tangential problems that distract courts from the critical questions they must address.
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