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First Amendment

The text of the First Amendment to the U.S. constitution on freedom of expression states: “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Given that the First Amendment only outlines the broad contours of legal protection, American free speech jurisprudence derives more from the gloss provided by the U.S. Supreme Court than from the constitutional text. The judicial interpretations of the First Amendment center on whether the government violates freedom of expression as an individual right. Hence, private infringements on free speech do not raise constitutional issues.

The intrinsic and utilitarian values of freedom of speech and the press inform the Supreme Court in formulating various First Amendment doctrines and tests. The most famous theory of freedom of expression ...

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