Freedom of Speech in the Roberts Court (MP3 download)
By Steve Simpson
Most Objectivists are painfully aware of the modern Supreme Court’s dismal record on the Constitution. What many Objectivists probably do not know, however, is that there is cause for some optimism in one very important area of constitutional law: freedom of speech.
Since John Roberts became Chief Justice, the Court has issued a number of very good decisions on free speech. Although there is still much wrong, philosophically, with the Supreme Court’s treatment of the right to freedom of speech, legally, the protections for speech are greater than they have been in years. This course examines the Court’s major rulings in several key areas, including campaign finance law, offensive speech, and speech that facilitates crimes. It explores the underlying premises of those who have mounted concerted attacks on freedom of speech in recent years and the Court’s surprisingly good decisions that have applied and protected this important right. Ultimately, it makes the case that the Court’s recent rulings in this vital area provide Objectivists with cause for optimism in an often gloomy legal world.
This course was recorded at the 2012 Objectivist Summer Conference in San Diego, CA.