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Constitutional Law

Speech in Public Spheres

Speech in Public Spheres

Learn about the extent to which otherwise applicable free-speech protections may have diminished force in public settings, including public schools and places of public employment.


Much of First Amendment free-speech doctrine focuses on the type of speech being regulated or the type of forum in which the speech takes place. However, the Supreme Court also has identified a series of special cases in which, by nature of the government’s control over the speaker, the government is allowed to impose restrictions on speech that would otherwise be invalid. This lesson introduces three examples, which are speech by public employees, speech by other individuals over whom the...