The Contested 'Bright Line' of Territorial Presence

20 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2023

Date Written: November 2022


For this symposium on “Immigrants and the First Amendment,” this Essay considers the current scope of First Amendment protection for noncitizens abroad. Courts have interpreted the constitutional rights of noncitizens to vary with factors including status, ties, and location. But in a recent case, Agency for International Development v. Alliance for Open Society International, the Supreme Court announced that the First Amendment simply does not apply to noncitizens abroad. This Essay considers this new rule and its implications, concluding that a bright-line rule based on territorial presence masks more complex questions about the meaning of “here” and “abroad.”

Suggested Citation

Bhargava Ray, Shalini, The Contested 'Bright Line' of Territorial Presence (November 2022). 56 Georgia Law Review, Vol. 56, pp. 1511- 1530, (2022), Available at SSRN:

Shalini Bhargava Ray (Contact Author)

University of Alabama School of Law ( email )

101 Paul W. Bryant Dr.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
United States

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