Episode 27: The Soul of the First Amendment
Special Guest Floyd Abrams joins the podcast to discuss his new book The Soul of the First Amendment.1 America’s preeminent First Amendment lawyer, Floyd Abrams, has spoken out on the most controversial free-speech issues of our time. Since 1971, when the Pentagon Papers were leaked to the New York Times and furious debate over First Amendment rights ensued, free-speech cases have emerged in rapid succession. Floyd Abrams has been on the front lines of nearly every one of these major cases, which is also to say that, more than any other person, he has forged this country’s legal understanding of free speech. Litigating everything from national-security and prior-restraint issues to controversies concerning the law of libel and attempts by local officials to censor art, Abrams has worked devotedly to protect the First Amendment, the “crown jewel” of America’s Constitution. Most recently, Mr. Abrams argued and won Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
In his forthcoming book, The Soul of the First Amendment, Abrams discusses the dangers to the First Amendment that emanate from the Left as well as the Right. Abrams also examines the repeated conflicts between claims of free speech and those of national security, as evidenced in the case of WikiLeaks and also the case of Edward Snowden. Topics discussed include a comparative view of defamation laws, the right to be forgotten, Supreme Court oral arguments, and unauthorized use of trademark in film.2
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