An Essay in Honor of Robert Sedler: Fierce Champion of Free Speech
18 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2014
Date Written: 2013
This article celebrates the academic and advocacy career of Professor Robert A. Sedler of Wayne State University Law School, who has been a fierce champion of the First Amendment both in theory and in practice. First the article praises the two landmark articles written by Professor Sedler, two decades apart, analyzing the Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence and finding there a consistent vigilance to safeguard dissident speech against the chilling effect of government suppression. Second, the article suggests that the Court’s decisions also reflect a related theme of opposition to government censorship and paternalism over speech. Next, it is argued that the Roberts Court in a number of its rulings, across a wide and disparate number of fields, has very strongly enforced First Amendment rights and values to combat such government censorship. But, finally, the article notes a substantial and distressing disconnect between free speech rights on paper and in the real world of everyday life. In that world, both at home and abroad, there has been a veritable war against free speech. Dedication to Professor Sedler’s brilliant and courageous legacy requires that we do battle against the forces of censorship, oppression and conformity.
Keywords: First Amendment, Free Speech
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