Freedom from Thought

23 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2016

See all articles by Jane R. Bambauer

Jane R. Bambauer

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: February 8, 2016

Abstract

This short Essay explores when ignorance can be supported or even coerced by law, and when it cannot. In the end, although freedom from thought has much to offer to the development of privacy and dignitary rights, interests in self-ignorance are better handled through norms than through law. Like other forms of privacy, First Amendment commitments are likely to frustrate legal efforts to support or coerce self-ignorance. If a speaker wishes to disclose information, the government is unlikely to be able to interfere with that disclosure unless the speaker’s interests are demonstrably weak. However, when both the speaker and the listener prefer silence, government compulsion of information disclosure will offend privacy and First Amendment principles alike.

Keywords: ignorance, self-ignorance, First Amendment, privacy, information disclosure

Suggested Citation

Yakowitz Bambauer, Jane R., Freedom from Thought (February 8, 2016). 65 Emory Law Journal 219 (2015); Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 16-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2729408

Jane R. Yakowitz Bambauer (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

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