Participatory Democracy as a Theory of Free Speech: A Reply

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Participatory Democracy as a Theory of Free Speech: A Reply, 97 Virginia Law Review 617 (2011)


In scholarship, one writes with the overt aspiration to persuade

but much more primitively with the urgent desire to be seriously

engaged in ongoing scholarly conversation. To be carefully read

and answered by seven commentators of this power and brilliance

is a treasure beyond all reasonable expectation. Of course, no one

exactly enjoys going under the surgeon's knife, but I am nevertheless

deeply grateful for these illuminating and helpful comments, as

well as for Professor James Weinstein's masterly efforts to organize

them. I cannot sufficiently express the loss we have all experienced

by Professor C. Edwin Baker's untimely death as this symposium

was in the process of creation.

I should say at the outset that Professor Vincent Blasi most generously

catches the fundamental aspiration of my own work, which

is to provide an account of First Amendment doctrine that gives

"considerable weight to ease of explanation and comprehension,

feasibility of implementation in an imperfect institutional environment."

Legal principles should "be made objective enough and authoritative

enough to control adaptive rule making." The inevitable

consequence is a certain degree of pragmatic simplification,

which is exemplified by my effort to develop a lexically fundamental

purpose for First Amendment doctrine.

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