The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
Free Speech


Humanitarian Law Project v. Holder

Submitted by Jim Aune on February 24, 2010 - 10:06am

I usually become a hard-core legal formalist on free speech cases, but this one is rather complicated, on national security grounds. I'm still in quest of a rhetorical theory of "incitement." NPR story here. [h/t to Ryan Malphurs]


Campaign Speech

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 29, 2009 - 12:59pm

If you're old enough, you may remember when presidential candidate Barry Commoner ran ads that began with "Bullshit!" Or the anxiety that a possible presidential run by Larry Flynt caused a while back. A recent example. I should know this, but when did we decide that free campaign speech trumps FCC regulations? Adria?


Clause-Bound Constitutional Jurisprudence

Submitted by Jim Aune on November 16, 2009 - 2:19pm

The non-Establishment principle trumps student free speech. And I am puzzled, but I haven't read the briefs yet. I can't help but think that a valedictorian's message is not the school district speaking, and that, yet again, we don't really understand how to make the First Amendment *mean* rhetorically in the absence of lawyerly clause-bound readings:


Brandeis, Still Right After All These Years

Submitted by Jim Aune on November 9, 2009 - 11:10am

Once again, the remedy for bad speech is . . . more speech.


Free Speech at Butler University

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 29, 2009 - 5:52pm

Here's the story of an unpleasant bit of administrative silencing of speech at Butler University (the Provost is a Communication person, btw). Another version of the story, from Huffington Post. And here's the blogger's story, in his own words. And, please sign this petition, if you're so inclined. (h/t to Jeff Brand)


Yale University Press Lacks a Spine

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 13, 2009 - 10:23pm

Won't include the cartoons in a new book on the Danish controversy. How did we get to this point? The AAUP bravely condemns the Press.


Identity Politics and Free Speech

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 24, 2009 - 12:08pm

Battaglia bait. And, speaking of which, what about Bruno? All I know is that there will dozens of cultural studies papers from it. And a cogent discussion of the differing French and British views of the burka in public space.


Your Comprehensive Exam Question: Free Speech

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 31, 2009 - 1:22pm

A Wichita doctor is murdered as he goes into church this morning. Bill O'Reilly has been targeting him for some time. Under the "imminent lawless conduct" standard of Brandenburg v. Ohio, should O'Reilly/Fox News be liable for damages? How do the mass media complicate the Brandenburg standard? If a Muslim cleric in the US had done the same, would he be in jail right now?


Nazis in Skokie, Revisited

Submitted by Jim Aune on April 25, 2009 - 7:48am

April 20, 2009 marked the opening of the Skokie Holocaust Museum and Education Center. The small band of Nazis, led by Frank Collin, who wanted to march in Skokie some thirty years ago ignited a first Amendment storm that has not yet calmed down. The ACLU, of course, weighed in on the side of the Nazis' right to march, and the whole thing ended, in typical Chicago style, with a backroom deal that ended with the Nazis marching uneventfully in downtown Chicago on federal land.


Free Speech Absolutism: A Defense

Submitted by Jim Aune on April 8, 2009 - 12:18am

My NCA lecture on Free Speech is now available as an mp3 file here. Comments are welcome.