Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Chicago
To understand the core principles of free speech on campus, it is helpful to understanding the evolution of First Amendment jurisprudence over the past century. As the Justices of the Supreme Court have struggled to make sense of the Constitution’s vague and open-ended guarantee that “Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech,” it has gradually embraced ten core principles that now define our constitutional understanding of “the freedom of speech.” By exploring the wisdom – or unwisdom – of those ten principles, it is possible to better understand why our nation’s colleges and universities have moved in a similar direction in their commitment to academic freedom – and what they mean by that term.