How Necessary is the Right of Assembly?
26 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2012
Date Written: 2012
This paper continues the conversation initiated by John Inazu's new book, Liberty's Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly, by locating Inazu's analysis within our legal system's broader struggle to reconcile liberty claims by groups with our commitment to the individual's rights-bearing primacy. I underscore the timeliness and relevance of his approach, then ask three questions: 1) Why does Inazu limit the freedom of assembly to non-commercial groups? 2) Is Inazu's argument more appropriately pitched to judicial or political actors? and 3) If the right of association were to be interpreted less narrowly by courts, could it carry the burden that Inazu seeks to lay on the right of assembly?
Keywords: freedom of assembly, constitutional rights, first amendment, constitutional interpretation
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