Free Speech and Association

Brown’s free speech opinions illustrate her tendency to rule in favor of corporations and seek to provide broad protections for corporate speech, while sometimes giving short shrift to the First Amendment rights of average citizens.

In one dissent she listed as one of her ten most significant decisions, Brown sought to expand the contexts in which corporations could make false or misleading statements without any effective legal mechanism for holding them accountable. In another case discussed in the report, Brown argued that a corporation should be granted an injunction against a former employee sending emails critical of the company’s employment practices to some of his former colleagues.

Her vigorous support of strong legal protections for even false and misleading corporate speech is even more disturbing when contrasted with her willingness to enforce a very broad injunction severely restricting the ability of Latino youth who were alleged to be gang members to gather in certain neighborhoods.

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