Terrorizing Advocacy and the First Amendment: Free Expression and the Fallacy of Mutual Exclusivity

By Martin H. Redish & Matthew Fisher
October 31, 2017

Traditional free speech doctrine is inadequate to account for modern terrorist speech. Unprotected threats and substantially protected lawful advocacy are not mutually exclusive. This Article proposes recognizing a new hybrid category of speech called “terrorizing advocacy.” This is a type of traditionally protected public advocacy of unlawful conduct that simultaneously exhibits the unprotected pathologies of a true threat. This Article explains why this new category confounds existing First Amendment doctrine and details a proposed model for how the doctrine should be reshaped.