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SSRN-‘Telling Me Lies’: The Constitutionality of Regulating False Statements of Fact by Mark Tushnet

Abstract:
    

Using recent decisions dealing with the constitutionality of the Stolen Valor Act as its starting point, this Essay examines the First Amendment questions raised by statutes prohibiting lies as such, that is, outside the context of fraud and defamation. It evaluates the constitutionality of statutes imposing strict or negligence liability for lying, concluding that the First Amendment does not bar legislatures from adopting such statutes if the statutes are carefully drawn. It then assesses arguments that deliberate falsehoods can be prohibited because they have no social value, concluding that that judgment, while somewhat overbroad, is correct. In reaching that conclusion the Essay offers an interpretation of United States v. Stevens, the recently decided “animal snuff video” case, which some have thought stands as an obstacle to statutes prohibiting lies as such. The Essay also deals with false statements made by those who do not believe the statements to be false, observing that many such statements are “ideologically inflected” in ways that make is unwise, and probably unconstitutional, to regulate their dissemination. A final section briefly discusses statutes prohibiting false statements in political campaigns.

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Welcome

Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I'm Eoin O'Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie - the Irish for rights.

"Cearta" really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

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What I'd like for here is a simple widget that takes the list of feeds from my existing RSS reader and displays it here as a blogroll. Nothing fancy. I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

I had built a blogroll here on my Google Reader RSS subscriptions. Google Reader produced a line of html for each RSS subscription category, each of which I pasted here. So I had a list of my subscriptions as my blogroll, organised by category, which updated whenever I edited Google Reader. Easy peasy. However, with the sad and unnecessary demise of that product, so also went this blogroll. Please take a moment to mourn Google Reader. If there's an RSS reader which provides a line of html for the list of subscriptions, or for each RSS subscription category as Google Reader did, I'd happily use that. So, as I've already begged, I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

Meanwhile, please bear with me until I find a new RSS+Blogroll solution

Thanks,

Eoin.

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This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. I am happy for you to reuse and adapt my content, provided that you attribute it to me, and do not use it commercially. Thanks. Eoin

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The image in the banner above is a detail from a photograph of the front of Trinity College Dublin night taken by Melanie May.

Others whose technical advice and help have proven invaluable in keeping this show on the road include Dermot Frost, Karlin Lillington, Daithí Mac Síthigh, and Antoin Ó Lachtnáin.

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