This week we are looking at a solid look at exactly what “Free Speech” legally means in the United States. This week we are looking at The Fight For Free Speech by Ian Rosenburg.
Mostly Solid Explanation of What ‘Free Speech’ Means As Decreed By SCOTUS… And What It Does Not. This is a legal treatise that never once explicitly states the very thing it seeks to define – the particular text of the First Amendment to the US Constitution that reads “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”. It also refers to a famous yet apocryphal “Ben Franklin” quote in its introduction. And yet despite these two flaws, it is still a mostly solid look at what the Supreme Court of the United States of America has decreed “the right to free speech” means over the last nearly 250 years, mostly within the last century or so. The book does a solid job of using an example usually from this Millenium (or even decade) as its starting point for each chapter’s discussion, then going into the history and actual SCOTUS decisions, what they said, and what they mean. Including showing the *rest* of the famous ruling that “you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater”. Well, you can. If there is a fire. 😉 And if you’re interested in the concept of Free Speech in the US for any reason at all, this is a book you’ll want to read. Very much recommended.