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Free Expression Versus Reputation: The Supreme Court’s Weighing of Interests

01/02/2019

Edward J. Sholinsky published a chapter in the book, “The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania: Life and Law in the Commonwealth, 1684–2017,” issued by the Pennsylvania State University Press. Sholinsky’s chapter is entitled, Free Expression Versus Reputation: The Supreme Court’s Weighing of Interests.

 

This volume provides a balanced, comprehensive history of the Court, examining over three centuries of legal proceedings and cases before the body, the controversies and conflicts with which it dealt, and the impact of its decisions and of the case law its justices created.

 

Sholinsky’s chapter begins:

 

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has consistently touted the protections provided by the Commonwealth for freedoms of speech and press. . . . The Court observed that Article I, Section 7 is broader than the federal Constitution’s First Amendment in that it “affirms the ‘invaluable right’ to the ‘free communication of thoughts and opinions,’ and the right of ‘every citizen’ to ‘speak freely’ on ‘any subject’ so long as that liberty is not abused.” In the long history of the Commonwealth, however, the Court has struggled to match this broad expression of freedom with concerns about its “abuse.” That tension is most clearly reflected in the Court’s decisions on the law of defamation.

 

Sholinsky’s practice includes preserving First Amendment rights and providing legal services to the media and communications industries. He also focuses on representing financial institutions and Internet-based companies in business and consumer disputes. Before entering legal practice, Sholinsky worked as a newspaper reporter.

 

Click here to read an excerpt of this chapter. More details are online here, where the book can also be purchased.