Cass Sunstein: Democracy and the Problem of Free SpeechThe Free Press, 1993 | Cass Sunstein, born 1954

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In this influential book, legal scholar Cass Sunstein defends a view of freedom of expression based on the principle of “government by discussion.” Like Meiklejohn, Sunstein sees the purpose of the freedom of speech and press clauses of the First Amendment not as protecting individual liberty, but as making possible deliberative democracy. Unlike Meiklejohn, however, Sunstein’s view of the requirements of democracy calls for a radical redrawing of the boundaries between protected and unprotected speech. Where Meiklejohn advocated a more libertarian view of First Amendment protections, Sunstein thought that there should be more regulation of speech in order to correct the distortions of the public voice that certain kinds of speech can produce.




Sunstein, Cass. Democracy and the Problem of Free Speech. New York: The Free Press, 1993.

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