Property and the First Amendment
Cordes, Mark W.
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This article will examine the relationship of property interests to First Amendment exercise, and in particular the Supreme Court’s treatment of the ways property interests might interact with First Amendment rights. Although where appropriate it will emphasize the increased attention to property interests in recent years, the article’s primary intent is to more broadly examine the types of property-speech relationships that have arisen and how the Court has viewed property values in those various contexts. Beyond that, it will attempt to discern the more basic values reflected in the Court’s analysis and, to a limited degree, critique the Court’s treatment of the property-speech relationship. Part One of this article will begin by discussing the manner in which perceptions of government property interests affect speech rights on public property. Part Two will then discuss the Court’s treatment of instances where First Amendment exercise conflicts with private property interests. Part Three will then examine where property interests enhance speech interests. Finally, Part Four will provide some concluding observations.