Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Magarian on Managed Speech: The Roberts Court's First Amendment

Gregory P. Magarian, Washington University, St. Louis, School of Law, is publishing Managed Speech: The Roberts Court's First Amendment (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). Here is an abstract of the Introduction and Chapter 1.

In Managed Speech: The Roberts Court’s First Amendment, First Amendment scholar Gregory Magarian explores and critiques how the present U.S. Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, has reshaped and degraded the law of expressive freedom. This timely book shows how the Roberts Court’s free speech decisions embody a version of expressive freedom that Professor Magarian calls “managed speech.” Managed speech empowers stable, responsible institutions, both government and private, to manage public discussion; disfavors First Amendment claims from social and political outsiders; and, above all, promotes social and political stability. Professor Magarian examines all of the more than forty free speech decisions the Supreme Court handed down between Chief Justice Roberts’ ascent in 2005 and Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in 2016. Those decisions, taken together, aggressively advance stability at a steep cost to robust public debate. Professor Magarian proposes a theoretical alternative to managed speech, one that would aim to increase the range of ideas and voices in public discussion: dynamic diversity. A First Amendment doctrine based on dynamic diversity would prioritize political dissent and the rights of journalists, allow for reasonable regulations of money in politics, and work to broaden opportunities for speakers to be heard. Managed Speech: The Roberts Court’s First Amendment offers a fresh, critical perspective on the crucial question of what the First Amendment should mean and do.

Download the text from SSRN at the link.

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