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We idealize colleges and universities as places of unfettered inquiry, where freedom of expression flourishes. The Supreme Court has described the university classroom as “peculiarly the ‘marketplace of ideas.’” It declared: “The Nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure to that robust exchange of ideas which discovers truth out of a multitude of tongues, [rather] than through any kind of authoritative selection.” The exchange of competing ideas takes place not only in classrooms, but also in public spaces, dormitories, student organizations, and in countless other campus contexts.


Originally published as Niehoff, Leonard. "Terrible Freedom, Ambiguous Authenticity, and the Pragmatism of the Endangered: Why Free Speech in Law School Gets Complicated." Hofstra Law Review 51, no. 3 (2023): 583-611.