Madison and free speech.

JurisdictionUnited States
AuthorMurphy, Will
Date01 December 2002

I read with interest Michael Kahn's interesting and well-written article in the October Journal, "The Origination and early Development of Free Speech in the United States; An Overview." I believe one point requires clarification.

To support his position that "the record of the Framers of our Constitution is not unblemished with regard to freedom of speech," Mr. Kahn points out that James Madison, the eventual draftsman of the First Amendment, initially opposed having an express bill of rights in the Constitution. However, my understanding is that Madison's resistance to the Bill of Rights was not due toany lack of commitment to free speech. In fact, quite the opposite may be true.

Madison was concerned that the express protection of certain liberties would be used to argue against the existence of others. Madison, much...

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