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Eloquence and ReasonCreating a First Amendment Culture$
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Robert L. Tsai

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300117233

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300117233.001.0001

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Freedom as a Matter of Faith

Freedom as a Matter of Faith

(p.1) 1 Freedom as a Matter of Faith
Eloquence and Reason

Robert L. Tsai

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the vital role played by the First Amendment in the transformation of American political identity during the twentieth century. During this period, the rights to speech and religion became defining features of citizenship in the nation-state and the enforcement of rights the primary responsibility of the courts. In turn, the reach and intricacy of judge-made law developed well beyond what the gentlemen of 1789 could have foreseen. First Amendment law today defines and demarcates an impressive amount of social life. No longer limited to the right to speak or publish, the “First Freedoms” extend to unconventional strategies of protest, artistic creations and scientific discoveries, and matters of the intellect, self-definition, and spirituality.

Keywords:   rights to speech, First Amendment, American political identity, enforcement of rights, judge-made law, First Freedoms

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