Nebraska Law Review
first amendment, free speech, balancing approach
Despite an urgent need, the reality is that today we have no unifying free speech theory. Instead, the recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court suggest that doctrinal confusion reigns. Ironically, I would suggest that the cause of the present doctrinal confusion is not that insufficient attention has been paid to technical free speech issues, but rather that modern first amendment thinking has been dominated by "balancers." The poverty of the balancing approach, be it ad hoc or definitional in character, stems from its reliance on pragmatic considerations rather than on fundamental principles embodied in the enduring legacy of the founding fathers.
Stephen W. Gard, The Absoluteness of the First Amendment, 58 Nebraska Law Review 1053 (1979)