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It is a pleasure to deliver the fourth annual C. Edwin Baker Lecture for Liberty, Equality, and Democracy at the West Virginia University College of Law. I counted Ed Baker as a good friend and a precious colleague. I sought out his views and treasured his advice. His work on the First Amendment, and most especially on the media, is of the first rank. Its prescience, range, and integrity exemplify the very best in American legal scholarship. I mourn Ed Baker's untimely demise, and I miss his companionship. Ed was most famous for his claim that First Amendment rights protect those "fundamental aspects of individual liberty and choice" that involve using "speech to order and create the world in a desired way and as a tool for understanding and communicating about that world in ways" individuals may find "important." This view led Ed to conclude that the First Amendment should not extend any protection to what is now labeled "commercial speech"--which consists roughly of those communications that accompany the buying and selling of goods in a marketplace.
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