Compelling Speech or Enforcing Silence: the First Amendment and the Limits of Governmental Power

Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, Worldwide Plaza, 825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019 at  05:30 pm on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

This program will explore the limitations under the First Amendment on the Government's power to either compel a person to speak, or to force a person to remain silent, in varying contexts. We will look at three different scenarios, one involving a public employee union and the First Amendment limitations on compulsory agency fees; a second looking at the Government's power to require doctors to discuss certain topics with their patients in the abortion context, or to refrain from discussing other topics (guns) with their patients; and the third, looking at commercial speech. In each case, we will present the facts, raise some questions, and ask the Inn members how they would decide the controversies. To aid you in doing that, the program will begin with a short overview of the relevant case law. See you at Cravath on February 24th.

Program Materials:

Articles about Friedrichs case

Cases and Materials Involving Speech by Abortion Providers

Woman's Right to Know Act Brochure

Organizations Endorsing the Provision of Information on Firearm Safety by Physicians

"Docs v. Glocks" Decision

Pacific Gas and Electric v. Public Utilities Commission of California,  106 S.Ct. 903 (1986)

Wooley v. Maynard,  97 S.Ct. 1428 (1977)

Compelled Commercial Speech as Compelled Consent Speech, 29 J.L. & Pol. 517 (Summer 2014)

Compelled Commercial Speech,  117 W. Va. L. Rev. (Spring 2015)

Resolving the Compelled-Commercial Speech Conundrum,  19 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L. 205 (Winter 2011)

Inn Program Slides