Free Speech Dead Zones

The Supreme Court has created an elaborate framework for free speech analysis involving distinctions between content-based and content-neutral government regulations, as well as the application of the levels of scrutiny. But the Court also has created some free speech “dead zones” where First Amendment principles don’t apply at all and the government always wins. This Article identifies some of these free speech dead zones—for speech of government employees on the job in the scope of their duties, for government speech, and for speech related to the military. The Article argues that free speech dead zones are undesirable and unnecessary.

a. Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

The full text of this Symposium is available to download as a PDF.