The Federal Cyberstalking Statute, Content Discrimination and the First Amendment

James Weinstein - Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University
Vol. 54
June 2021
Page 2553

In a recent work, I explored the “exceedingly difficult challenge” of how to effectively combat cyberharassment without impairing the freedom of expression essential to liberal democracy. Due to that publication’s format and audience — a short chapter in a volume aimed at an international readership — the opportunity for detailed discussion of First Amendment issues was necessarily limited. I am therefore grateful for the opportunity to expand upon these issues in this Symposium. I particularly regretted that in this prior work I was unable to explore at length my disagreement with my friend Professor Eugene Volokh’s view that the First Amendment generally prohibits punishment of Internet harassment involving “one-to-many” as opposed to “one-to-one” speech. It is, therefore, a delightful coincidence that I will be able to return to this discussion in a Symposium recognizing the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Volokh’s article Cheap Speech and What It Will Do.

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