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Liberty's Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly Hardcover – January 24, 2012
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"This is a splendid act of retrieval. John Inazu argues that the courts for years have focused on the invented doctrine of “freedom of association,” a doctrine that is focused narrowly on speech and easily overcome by competing state interests. As a result, a key First Amendment right—the right to peaceably assemble—has disappeared. In arguing for its return, Inazu reminds us of a strong American tradition of assembly: one that recognizes that state is not the only “sovereign” in American life, that groups play a vital role in our social infrastructure, and that their meaning goes far beyond their “message.” His book provides a strong challenge to current law and scholarship, and raises deep questions about the meaning of the First Amendment and the nature of society. Thoughtfully argued, beautifully written, drawing on a wealth of sources, Inazu’s book is a valuable contribution to First Amendment law and theory." —Paul Horwitz, Gorden Rosen Professor, University of Alabama School of Law (Paul Horwitz 2011-08-31)
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Professor Inazu's primary objection to the current state of law is a lack of adequate protection for dissenting and minority groups, the result of the Court's preference for principles of equality over group autonomy. Inazu makes his case for a new standard, rooted in the right of assembly (as opposed to the unenumerated right of association) by discussing the political, jurisprudential, and theoretical factors that influenced the rights of assembly and association leading up to the present day. Professor Inazu critically evaluates the evolution of these rights, pointing out how public opinion, the courts, or theory have, in different ways and at different times, contributed to the current weak state of group autonomy.
The crown jewel of Liberty's Refuge is a forceful, entertaining, and thoughtful dissent (authored by Inazu but attributed to Justice Rutledge) to the Court's opinion in Roberts v. United States Jaycees. The dissent provides a showcase for how Inazu's suggested understanding of the freedom of assembly could be applied in practice.Read more ›