NOBODY’S FOOLS: THE RATIONAL AUDIENCE AS FIRST AMENDMENT IDEAL

AUTHOR: Lyrissa Lidsky

University of Florida Levin College of
Law, University of Florida Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-19

INTRO:

A skilled speaker tailors her message to her audience. Except in rare instances, however, she does so based on experiential rather than empirical data.  2 As it turns out, the United States Supreme Court also tends to rely on assumptions rather than evidence in determining how audiences decode socalled “core” speech—a contested category that receives maximum First Amendment protection.3 The Court rarely articulates its assumptions about the presumed audience of core speech, but its assumptions shape the outcomes of First Amendment cases. After all, a naïve and credulous audience might interpret speech one way and a savvy and sophisticated audience another.

FULL TEXT: NOBODY’S FOOLS

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