Washington Law Review


John M. Steel


Historical analysis of the first amendment reveals that it was adopted primarily to safeguard and promote self-government through the communication of political ideas and attitudes among citizens. The author argues that these political underpinnings support the recognition of a freedom to hear corresponding to the freedoms of speech and press. Implementation of this freedom, recognizing its political basis, would eliminate many infringements on activity the Framers intended to protect. A freedom to hear would also provide a useful analytic tool in alleviating much of the repressive influence on political activity exerted by the private sector.

First Page