Eternally Vigilant: Free Speech in the Modern Era

For more than 200 years, the freedom of speech - considered among Americans' most precious rights - has been guaranteed by the Constitution. Yet, as Lee Bollinger and Geoffrey Stone point out in their introduction, the First Amendment as we know it is largely a creation of the past 80 years. Eternally Vigilant brings together a stellar group of distinguished legal scholars to reflect boldly on the past, and future of the First Amendment. Organized thematically, the book begins with an historical overview by David Strauss and an examination of the philosophical underpinnings of the First Amendment by Vincent Blasi. Kent Greenawalt and Richard Posner explore the lessons of the initial Supreme Court decisions on the freedom of speech; Robert Post, Frederick Schauer and Stanley Fish reflect on the general First Amendment theory and doctrine; and Lillian BeVier, Owen Fiss and Cass Sunstein address contemporary free speech issues and the future of free speech. Stone and Bollinger provide helpful introductory notes to each essay, and also offer an informal dialogue to introduce nonexperts to the major issues of free speech jurisprudence. The result is a unique volume that reaches across the entire spectrum of First Amendment issues and offers a series of speculative essays that explore such diverse subjects as seditions libel, campaign regulation, commercial advertising, obscenity, and the new media.