Argue for a position on the scope of free speech – what is the justification for the right to free speech, and how expansive should this right be? Apply your position to at least one of the cases we’ve discussed related to hate speech (Collin v Smith, R.A.V. v City of St Paul) – should the court’s ruling be changed, in light of your position on free speech?
Why or why not?
The primary goal of your paper is to provide convincing answers to the prompt above. With that said, a good paper requires more than convincing answers; it will include exposition that provides background for the reader and makes the structure of paper clear.
In particular, your papers should do the following three things (in addition to providing convincing answers!):
1) Include a brief introduction, where you explain what you’ll do in the paper. Be sure to state the thesis that you’ll argue for (for example, “In this paper I argue that Mill’s position on the scope of free speech is superior to those of Meiklejohn, Redish, and Emerson”).
2) The prompt requires you to argue for your preferred position on the scope of free speech. Before you argue for your preferred position, you must explain each of the four positions on the scope of free speech that we’ve covered in class (Mill, Meiklejohn, Redish, Emerson). In particular, this requires that you do two things
i. Explain how the law can limit speech, and
ii. Compare and contrast each position. For instance, what value(s) is the freedom of speech meant to serve, according to each author?
3) The prompt requires you to apply your preferred position on the scope of free speech to one of the cases we’ve covered related to hate speech. Before you apply your position to one of the cases we’ve discussed, you should briefly describe:
(1) the nature of hate speech and (2) some details of the case you will consider. In particular, this requires that you
i. Explain what hate speech is, and what it is not (for instance, speech that merely makes someone angry is not hate speech). You are not required to discuss Waldron’s view on hate speech here, but if it helps you make the discussion clearer, then you are welcome to do so.
ii. Summarize the facts of the case you will consider.
iii. Explain the court’s ruling in that case.
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