Speech and Democracy: The Legacy of Justice Brandeis Today
"Louis D. Brandeis 100: Then and Now" at Brandeis University, 2016
31 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 20, 2016
Justice Louis D. Brandeis's concurrence in Whitney v. California, later adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court, made American speech law the most permissive in the world. Its premise was that speech is crucial to the participation of Americans in democratic governance, and that the right to free speech was ineluctably tied to the responsibility of citizens to participate in the public sphere. Given both the relative lack of Americans' involvement in the democratic process and the problems presented by hate speech and by Internet phenomena such as cyber-bullying, revenge porn, and terrorist recruitment, is the Brandeis formulation still relevant for the 21st century?
Keywords: Louis D. Brandeis, American constitutional law, speech law, hate speech, Internet speech, cyberbullying
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