Our constitutional freedom to speak out against government and corporate power is always fragile, but today it faces unprecedented hazards. In Managed Speech: The Roberts Courts First Amendment, leading First Amendment scholar, Gregory Magarian, explores and critiques how the present U.S. Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, has reshaped and degraded the law of expressive freedom. This timely book shows how the Roberts Court's free speech decisions embody a version of expressive freedom that Professor Magarian calls "managed speech". Managed speech empowers stable, responsible institutions, both government and private, to manage public discussion; disfavors First Amendment claims from social and political outsiders; and, above all, promotes social and political stability. Professor Magarian examines all of the more than forty free speech decisions the Supreme Court handed down between Chief Justice Roberts' ascent in 2005 and Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016. Those decisions, taken together, aggressively advance stability at a steep cost to robust public debate.
Professor Magarian proposes a theoretical alternative to managed speech, one that would aim to increase the range of ideas and voices in public discussion: "dynamic diversity." A First Amendment doctrine based on dynamic diversity would prioritize political dissent and the rights of journalists, allow for reasonable regulations of money in politics, and work to broaden opportunities for speakers to be heard. This book offers a fresh, critical perspective on the crucial question of what the First Amendment should mean and do.
Gregory P. Magarian is Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches and writes about U.S. constitutional law, with a focus on the First Amendment freedom of expression. His work also explores law and religion, gun regulation, and the law of politics. He has published widely in leading law journals, and he has taught and lectured around the world. Professor Magarian received his B.A. summa cum laude from Yale and his J.D. magna cum laude, as well as a master's degree in public policy, from the University of Michigan. He served as a judicial clerk, first for Judge Louis Oberdorfer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, then for Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court. He practiced law at Jenner and Block in Washington, D.C. and taught at Villanova University before joining the Washington University faculty in 2008. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.