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Chapter 14

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

The First Amendment provides, in part, that "Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. … " These rights (plus the accompanying "freedom of association") are often grouped together as "freedom of expression." Here are the key concepts relating to freedom of expression:

  • Content-based vs. content-neutral: Courts distinguish between "content-based" and "content-neutral" regulations on expression.
    • Content-based: If the government action is "content-based," the action will be generally subjected to strict scrutiny, and the action will usually be struck down.
    • Content-neutral: On the other hand, if the government action is "content-neutral," the government's action is subjected to a much easier-to-satisfy test, and will usually be upheld.
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