Title

Two Overlooked Free Speech Rulings from SCOTUS

Document Type

Editorial

Publication Date

6-19-2015

Abstract

It was a busy day at the Court—the justices issued opinions in six decided cases—and, while it's safe to say that some were disappointed by the absence of an Obamacare or marriage blockbuster, two of the decisions have the potential to be landmark, even if underappreciated, freedom-of-speech rulings: Reed v. Town of Gilbert and Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Each of these rulings involved the re-affirmation and application of longstanding, "black letter" First Amendment doctrine and each will have implications and reverberations that are not yet clear. In a way, the strong protections that were vindicated in Reed are made more vulnerable by the application of the government-speech rule in Walker. Stay tuned.