Guiding Principles of Freedom of Expression Jurisprudence
Conditions that can trigger valid regulation: violence, property damage, criminal speech, encroaching on the rights of others, burdens on government function, trespass, time, place and manner restrictions.
Restraints on government power: appropriate purpose, narrow construction/overbreadth, vagueness, chilling effect, prior restraint.
Categories of unprotected speech (or speech with limited protection): libel, offensive speech, obscenity, fighting words, commercial speech
U.S. v. O’Brien (1969) upholds conviction for burning draft cards
Texas v. Johnson (1989) protects flag burning as symbolic speech
Speech in Public Forums
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942) can regulate offensive speech and “fighting words”
Ward v. Rock Against Racism (1989) can place restrictions on public gatherings as long as they are content neutral and narrowly tailored
Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) protects “black arm bands,” student have constitutional protections
Bethel School Dist. No. 203 v. Fraser (1986) upholds some limitations on manner of student speech appropriate to classroom or student assembly
Morse v. Frederick (2007) limits application of Tinker