Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The First Amendment and Matters of Public Concern

Mark Strasser, Capital University Law School, has published What's It to You: The First Amendment and Matters of Public Concern at 77 Missouri Law Review 1083 (2012). Here is the abstract.


In Snyder v. Phelps, the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed that the First Amendment protects discussions on matters of public concern, thereby underscoring the importance of the distinction between matters of public concern and matters of mere private interest. Yet, the Court has never offered clear criteria by which to determine which speech falls into one category and which falls into the other. This article traces the development of the “matters of public concern” doctrine, explaining the role that the concept has played in cases ranging from defamation to employment termination to publication of (allegedly) private facts. The current jurisprudence cannot help but cause confusion and inconsistent results in the lower courts and can only undermine the very purposes the First Amendment is designed to serve.
The full text is not available from SSRN.

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