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Freedom of speech is one of the most remarkable and celebrated aspects of American constitutional law. It helps define who we are as a nation. The principle is rooted in the text of the Constitution itself, but it has been the decisions of the Supreme Court over the last half century or so that have, in my view, nurtured that principle, given it much of its present shape, and accounts for much of its energy and sweep. These decisions have given rise to what Harry Kalven has called a Free Speech Tradition.

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