Cass Sunstein

Cass R. Sunstein is the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School and the author of more than a dozen books, including After the Rights Revolution, Designing Democracy and most recently, The Cost-Benefit State.

Recent Articles

Ideas, Yes; Assaults, No

Universities committed to the value of learning must be committed, above all, to the free exchange of ideas. But it does not follow that they are obliged to accept any and all forms of speech. Under a system of free expression, universities -- and, indeed, the government -- can legitimately distinguish between verbal assaults and speech that forms part of the exchange of ideas. Those who deny this distinction will, I think, have trouble making sense of their own deepest beliefs about the kinds of speech that enjoy full protection of the First Amendment and those that do not. In opposing restrictions on speech, First Amendment absolutists cite the exact Ianguage of the First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech." But the bare words will not help us to decide what amounts to an "abridgement" and what falls within the category of "freedom of speech." The history of the amendment shows that the text was not thought to protect all speech under all...

Racism and Race-Conscious Remedies

In my essay in the 1982 Supreme Court review, to which Professor Tollett refers, I did not say that the original purpose of the Reconstruction Amendments is probably no longer worth taking seriously. Instead, I said that the notion that the amendments are limited to race, and do not also apply elsewhere, is probably no longer worth taking seriously. The difference is not technical; these are entirely different propositions. To say that the equal protection clause covers not simply race discrimination but also (for example) sex discrimination is to say something that fits with its broad text. It is not at all to deny that the fundamental purpose of the clause is to counteract the subordination of blacks. On this point, Professor Tollett and I are in basic agreement. In my hypothetical Supreme Court agenda, laid out in "Constitutional Politics and the Conservative Court" ( TAP , Spring 1990), I try to outline a set of areas that a different court might have addressed, and on which this...

Pages