Free Speech

Journal of Free Speech Law Pre-Call For Papers: Student Speech and Associational Privacy,

in light of the Supreme Court's forthcoming Mahanoy and Americans For Prosperity cases.


This Term, the Court is considering two important First Amendment issues—K-12 student speech (in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L.) and associational privacy (Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra).

The Journal of Free Speech Law, a new peer-reviewed, faculty-edited journal, will quickly publish two to four articles on each of these subjects, as a symposium issue. We seek not case notes as such, but rather articles on the broader subjects in light of the new decisions. And given our publication speed, these will likely be the first such articles to be published in a full-fledged law journal.

Our plan:

  1. Since the cases will likely come down July 1, we'd need to see submissions by Aug. 1. But given the short timeline, we'll be open for rougher submissions than usual. What we want to see, to make our decision, is a clear explanation of the key novel, interesting, and useful contributions that the article would make.
  2. We require exclusive submissions (via Scholastica,, but we will give an answer within two weeks (our average response time so far is under a week). Thus, if we say no, there will be plenty of time to submit to other journals in the August submission cycle.
  3. We plan on publishing the articles online and on Westlaw as soon as the author provides a publishable version, which could be as quickly as early September (or longer, if the author so requires).
  4. Our journal also publishes in print. We expect the print edition to come out towards the end of the year, depending on the timeline for the articles; but we expect that these days the important thing is getting the article out quickly online.
  5. We will set up online symposia on the drafts, so that authors can get feedback from the other authors and from other First Amendment scholars.
  6. All this would of course be contingent on the Court saying something interesting, rather than just dismissing the case on unrelated procedural grounds (such as what the Court did in U.S. v. Sineneng-Smith, for instance).
  7. We will resend this announcement when the cases come down, but we wanted to alert prospective authors in advance.

Our journal was just founded this year, and will publish its inaugural symposium issue (on regulation of social media platforms) this Summer; the issue we discuss here will be our second. Our robe-and-gown editorial board consists of:

Prof. Amy Adler
Prof. Jane Bambauer
Prof. Ashutosh Bhagwat
Judge Stephanos Bibas
Prof. Vincent Blasi
Judge José A. Cabranes
Prof. Clay Calvert
Dean Erwin Chemerinsky
Prof. Alan Chen
Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar
Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg
Prof. Jamal Greene
Prof. Heidi Kitrosser
Prof. Andrew Koppelman
Prof. Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Jr.
Prof. Toni Massaro
Prof. Michael McConnell
Prof. Helen Norton
Prof. Robert Post
Judge A. Raymond Randolph
Judge Neomi Rao
Prof. Jennifer Rothman
Judge Robert Sack
Prof. Frederick Schauer
Dean Rodney A. Smolla
Prof. Geoffrey Stone
Judge David R. Stras
Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton
Prof. Rebecca Tushnet
Prof. Eugene Volokh
Prof. James Weinstein
Judge Diane Wood

If you have any questions, please e-mail; and please pass this along to others who are interested.

Jane Bambauer
Ashutosh Bhagwat
Eugene Volokh
Executive Editors

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  1. All media excepr C-SPAN is the David Duke website, biased hate speech. It takes the form of lying by omission. Yet the Code of Ethics requires stating all sides of a story. Political speech has no pretense of ethics. The Free Speech and the Free Press Clauses immunize lies and fraud. Lawyers should stop their pretense of freedom. Rename the the Fraud Clauses.

  2. What I’d love to see, and could be urged to write, is an article about how the mental health laws are being used to silence student speech — both in K-12 and (particularly) in higher education.

    Putting it in it’s most blunt format, if the police arrive, handcuff you and drag you off to a cage, does their justification for doing so really matter much?

    And this is leading to students self-censoring themselves — even I did — and when you look at the larger issue of the state silencing speech via the state’s legitimate use of force, it really doesn’t much matter how the state justifies doing so….

    Mental illness is real, trust me, but not every student to the political right of Vladimir Lenin is going to become “the next Virginia Tech shooter” — if this were likely, we would already have had way too many campus shootings, like one every week. It’s like the defective Firestone tires of 20 years ago — they came apart in large enough numbers to be statistically relevant….

    That said, academia now considers all conservatives to be crazy, and exploits the mental health laws to silence them. Someone ought to say something about that…

    Someone really ought to….

  3. Hi, Doctor. Didn’t you do that to me? It is toy lawyers who belive in mind reading, even the defendant has no recall of the crime. You believe in the mind reading of dead people. You ignore the plain language they left. You believe in the forecasting of 1 in 10000 events. You are more likely to get the Lotto numbers than to guess which plaintiff will fail to walk around the oil spill on the supermarket floor and scapegoat the store for his stupidity. Your standard of conduct is set by a fictitious character with the anxiety disorder of Mickey Mouse. These were copied from the Catechism in violation of the Establishment.

    Yet, I do not call you mentally ill. You are pure evil rent seekers, instead, destroying our nation, 10 times more toxic than organized crime.

    1. Is this the next Detective Comics brainstorm?

  4. Yet another classic VC thread.

  5. “Massaro” before “McConnell”? I see we’re tempting the fates now.

  6. So basically you guys are seeking to publish amicus brief law review articles.

  7. Nice to see a California Supreme Court Justice on there, along with federal judges. Adds another dimension of diversity (along with the refreshingly diverse viewpoints and backgrounds of the others there).

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