The modern legal dialectic around the First Amendment is harsh and dauntingly complicated. The prevailing topical U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence values free speech because it can contribute to human meaning-making and construction of selfhood, and has the potential to produce the sorts of ideas and information that can lead to human enlightenment. The court also deeply distrusts governmental regulation of speech, and has articulated powerful doubts about the government’s ability to competently balance social costs and benefits pertaining to speech, especially when driven by censorial motives. Actual living human beings and their emotions do not much factor into either the court’s positive or negative justifications for free speech. See generally Toni Massaro, Helen Norton and Margot Kaminski, “SIRI-OUSLY 2.0: What Artificial Intelligence Reveals about the First Amendment,” 101 Minnesota Law Review 2481 (2017).
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