A powerful indictment of contemporary attacks on free speech, this book argues for a vigorous First Amendment jurisprudence protecting even offensive types of speech. In recent years, political activists, academics, and legal specialists have attacked traditional tions of free speech protection as they concern hate speech, obscenity, and porgraphy. They have called for changes in Supreme Court doctrine in defining the First Amendment and have argued that the traditional view of free speech actually creates and perpetuates a society in which the weak-women, mirities, the poor-have voice. While recognizing their fears, Nicholas Wolfson argues that it is impossible to separate bad speech from good speech without fatally compromising the uniquely American concept of free speech, and that efforts to modify our concept of free speech for a greater egalitarian good can only result in undue state influence over private speech. In a keenly argued analysis, he finds that, in the end, the preservation of free and vigorous speech requires a strong First Amendment protection for even the most hateful of speech.
NICHOLAS WOLFSON is the George and Helen England Professor of Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law where he teaches courses in Free Speech, Securities Regulation and Corporate Law. He has published extensively in these fields: his books include Corporate First Amendment Rights and the SEC (Quorum, 1990) and The Modern Corporation: Free Markets vs. Regulation (1984).