The Soul of the First Amendment - Chapter 2-3 Summary & Analysis

Floyd Abrams
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Summary

Chapter Two describes the ways freedom of expression has been interpreted differently in different settings. In the United States, laws requiring students to salute the American flag, allowing southern juries to impose libel verdicts on newspapers covering the Civil Rights movement, and limiting what movies could be shown a theaters were all ruled to violate the First Amendment. Simultaneously, private companies and organizations are free to limit freedom of expression. Abrams notes that the a statute’s written text is far less important than its application. The constitutions of Eritrea and North Korea, the world’s two most repressive states, both provide for freedom of speech, the press, and expression. Even within democracies, there is significant variation in what constitutes free speech. Canadian law, for example, is much more restrictive of hate speech, arguing that it prevents affected groups from fully participating in...

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This section contains 1,241 words
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