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So to Speak podcast: Judge Richard Posner on the First Amendment

By September 6, 2017

Last week, Judge Richard Posner suddenly retired from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after nearly 36 years on the bench. The 1981 President Reagan appointee authored over 3,300 judicial opinions during his tenure and is widely considered one of the most vocal, provocative, and influential appellate court judges of all time.

On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we hear Judge Posner’s thoughts on the First Amendment as we play for you a conversation he had with Professor Geoffrey Stone on May 16, 2016, at the University of Chicago Law School.

In this wide-ranging and candid dialogue, Judge Posner discusses his views on executive power in wartime, including why he believes President Franklin Roosevelt was justified in interning Japanese-Americans during World War II and why President Abraham Lincoln was right to ignore the Supreme Court’s decision in Ex Parte Merryman. He also addresses Citizens United v. FEC (“terrible”), the Supreme Court in general (“a mediocre institution”), McCullen v. Coakley, the Pentagon Papers, flag burning, and much, much more.

This podcast is presented as part of So to Speak’s exclusive partnership with the First Amendment Salon. The First Amendment Salon is a quarterly gathering of members of the First Amendment community for a 90-minute discussion with leading thinkers concerning a timely topic related to freedom of expression.

A video of this interview, including a Q&A portion not featured in the podcast, can be found on FIRE’s YouTube page.

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