Download Eloquence and Reason: Creating a First Amendment Culture by Robert L. Tsai PDF

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By Robert L. Tsai

This provocative publication offers a concept of the 1st Amendment’s improvement. in the course of the 20th century, americans won belief in its commitments, became the 1st modification into an device for social growth, and exercised their rhetorical freedom to create a typical language of rights. Robert L. Tsai explains that the promises of the 1st modification became a part of a governing tradition and national precedence. studying the rhetorical strategies of activists, presidents, and legal professionals, he illustrates how devoted voters search to advertise or destabilize a convergence in constitutional rules. Eloquence and cause unearths the social and institutional approaches wherein foundational principles are generated and defends a cultural position for the courts.

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Extra resources for Eloquence and Reason: Creating a First Amendment Culture

Sample text

2 Metaphor and Community Evocative metaphors abound in First Amendment thought. Some are fashioned to remind citizens of cherished ideals; others are calculated to stoke their deepest fears of democratic excess. Expressive liberty means ‘‘free trade in ideas,’’ Oliver Wendell Holmes pronounced in the 1919 decision Abrams v. United States, creating the imagery of an integrated and efficient economy to promote a legal order in which ideas move easily from willing creators to interested recipients.

As Cohen explains this sense of linguistic affinity: ‘‘There is a unique way in which the maker and the appreciator of a metaphor are drawn closer to one another. ’’≥∂ Strategically placed in an oration or text, a second-order metaphor beckons, teasing the curiosity like a miniature puzzle. It invites the citizen first to reconcile the incongruities inherent in its message; then, it encourages that individual, having resolved the incompatibility (or at least made peace with its nested meanings), to internalize and repeat it.

L. A. Hart conceptualizes law as a ‘‘union of primary and secondary rules’’ establishing duties and powers—with compliance as the touchstone. Hart posits two minimal conditions for law to exist: ‘‘obedience by ordinary citizens and . . ’’ The centrality of acquiescence to Hart’s theory leads him to extreme outcomes: ‘‘The society in which this was so might be deplorably sheeplike; the sheep might end in the slaughterhouse. ’’≥∏ Whereas Hart treats ‘‘the ordinary citizen’’ as a ‘‘relatively passive’’ receptor of law, Americans’ faith in the rule of law can better be described as inspirational, sophisticated, and dynamic.

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