The Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy has published my latest law review publication titled “The Right to Rage: Free Speech and Rage Rhetoric in American Political Discourse,” 21 Geo. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 481. The work explores rage rhetoric and some of the areas addressed in my forthcoming book, The Indispensable Right: Free Speech in an Age of Rage. 

Here is the description from the introduction of the article:

This article explores the treatment and value of rage rhetoric. It will challenge the continuing hold of functionalist rationales, including the Court’s view that some speech can be more susceptible to criminalization than others because it is more “virulent” or has a greater influence toward criminal conduct. These underlying rationales can be traced back to early seditious libel cases. This article explores how rage rhetoric has been treated historically and legally, including recent efforts to criminalize “toxic ideologies.” The article briefly explores our history of rage rhetoric in the English and colonial periods, including defining moments in United States history like the Boston Tea Party. It then explores how rage rhetoric has been addressed by the courts from the eighteenth to twenty-first centuries. The article looks at the rationales applied by courts in criminalizing rageful or radical rhetoric within First Amendment jurisprudence. Many of these decisions continue limiting principles articulated in early English law by figures such as William Blackstone. The residual or lingering elements of those views continue to be expressed in judicial opinions. Finally, the article explores how the January 6th riot revived those residual elements in calls for new legislation and prosecutions.

I wish to thank all of the law students at Georgetown who helped prepare this law review for publication.