Yesterday’s United States Court of Appeals “First Amendment” ruling seems to make it more difficult for the Federal Communications Commission to discourage indecent speech on the air in this country.
Our traditional freedom of speech guarantee was never intended to keep a sensible community from regulating the language used in public. Indeed, such regulation of talk does not inhibit genuine freedom of discourse. Rather, it tends to encourage serious discussions of issues critical for a self-governing community to consider on any occasion.
Disciplined discourse makes it more, not less, likely that critical issues will be truly discussed in public.
Professor of Law,
Loyola University of Chicago
Professor Anastaplo is the author of
Freedom of Speech and the First Amendment
(University Press of Kentucky, 2007)