The New First Amendment Flow Chart

Hard to say. But recall the true First Amendment flow-chart we originally saw on page 9:

You'll note that this flow-chart only has 3 nodes. Wouldn't it be convenient if a law school professor took the time to draw the flow-chart for the Supreme Court's revised version? Then we could see the increase in nodes we know are there.

Luckily for proof's sake, a law school professor did take on this heroic task. In his 1987 article Flowcharting the First Amendment, 72 Cornell Law Review 936, Fred C. Zacharias (an Associate Professor at Cornell Law School) gamely attempted to reduce the Supreme Court's decisions over the years to a one-page flow-chart, reproduced on p. 1011. Naturally, such an attempt was bound to be inaccurate, given the inability to account for every case decided by the Court, and the judges' own waffling: Zacharias noted the Court's "cacophony" and "confusion" (p. 946), "inconsistent theoretical focus" (p. 947), "startling contrast in . . . approaches" (p. 949), and "overall judicial inconsistency" (P. 957). And the following flow-chart you'll see (Zacharias' attempt to impose some linearity on the disorder of the Court) attempts to deal with onlypolitical speech. Commercial speech, broadcast media, rights of teachers, copyright, etc., aren't even represented here. But hey - you have to start somewhere.

We saw 3 nodes in the 1791 version. And the 1987 version has - how many nodes? You count.


Unconstitutional Federal Laws

 

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