The right of Americans to voice their beliefs without government approval or oversight is protected under what may well be the most honored and least understood addendum to the US Constitution--the First Amendment. Read more...
The right of Americans to voice their beliefs without government approval or oversight is protected under what may well be the most honored and least understood addendum to the US Constitution--the First Amendment. Floyd Abrams, a noted lawyer and award-winning legal scholar specializing in First Amendment issues, examines the degree to which American law protects free speech more often, more intensely, and more controversially than is the case anywhere else in the world, including democratic nations such as Canada and England. In this lively, powerful, and provocative work, the author addresses legal issues from the adoption of the Bill of Rights through recent cases such as Citizens United. He also examines the repeated conflicts between claims of free speech and those of national security occasioned by the publication of classified material such as was contained in the Pentagon Papers and was made public by WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden.
- ISBN-13: 9780300190885
- ISBN-10: 0300190883
- Publisher: Yale University Press
- Publish Date: April 2017
- Page Count: 176
- Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2017-02-13
- Reviewer: Staff
Lawyer and First Amendment expert Abrams, whose resume includes representing the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case and Sen. Mitch McConnell in Citizens United, explores the American right to free speech in this thoughtful and concise volume. Abrams assumes little prior knowledge from the reader, providing a useful history of the Founding Fathers Constitutional debates around the topic as well as interesting analyses of contemporary applications. One example is the so-called right to be forgotten, which allows negative information to be deleted from the Internet. Abrams stresses that even repugnant statements are more broadly protected in the U.S. speech than under many European democracies. He also explains why the identity of those asserting First Amendment claims should not be determinative. Many readers will find the most value in Abramss discussion of Citizens United, and his justification for granting First Amendment protections to corporations in general, and not just media companies. Even those troubled by the Citizens United decision, which allowed more corporate money into U.S. elections, are likely to emerge with a greater understanding of the Supreme Court majoritys logic in that controversial case. (Apr.)