1st Amendment and Free Speech/Freedom of speech.


Pussy Riot’s protest performance in a Moscow’s Cathedral deeply offended many Orthodox Christians. Would Mill have defended them against the charge that they should have chosen a less controversial place for their political process?

I assume you are referencing John Stuart Mill, whose essay "On Liberty" is considered one of the best defenses of free speech.

In that work, Mill makes clear that he does not think the State should be able to punish expression merely because it creates controversy or gives offense to others.  Indeed, Mill believes that the debate over such controversies helps us as a society get closer to finding the truth of things.

Based on these ideas, I think Mill would defend their actions, even if their behavior might have offended his Victorian sensibilities.  Mill's whole argument was not that people should do what he think is right and proper, but that everyone should be able to express freely their own ideas without risk of punishment.

- Mike  

1st Amendment and Free Speech

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Michael Troy


I will answer general questions regarding freedom of speech, petition, or religion. My specialty is in cases involving public employment or education, as well as issues related to campaign finance. I can`t give specific legal advice involving specific cases you might have.


As an attorney for the Center for Individual Rights, I worked on a number of free speech cases, including Rosenberger v. Univ. of Virginia, in which the Supreme Court upheld my clients' right to run a student newspaper without discrimination because of its religious content. I also worked on White v. Julian, which protected the right of people to protest against a homeless shelter in their neighborhood.

I also worked for the Federal Election Commission on several cases regarding the right to participate in the election process and engage in campaign related speech.

Former Attorney for Center for Individual Rights.

Washington Post
Washington Times

J.D. from Univ. of Michigan Law School

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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