‘Natural Rights and the First Amendment’ w/ Jud Campbell


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Did the founders intend for the First Amendment to protect as much speech as it does today?

University of Richmond Assistant Professor of Law Jud Campbell argues probably not. He is the author of an article recently published in The Yale Law Journal that Cass Sunstein says “might well be the most illuminating work on the original understanding of free speech in a generation.”

In “Natural Rights and the First Amendment,” professor Campbell argues that the founders’ understanding of the freedoms of speech and of the press rested on “a multifaceted understanding of natural rights that no longer survives in American constitutional thought.” He contends that those rights “were expansive in scope but weak in their legal effect, allowing for restrictions of expression to promote the public good.”

On this episode of So to Speak, we investigate professor Campbell’s claims and wonder, if true, what — if anything — we should do about them.


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