Though Citizens United was a triumph for free expression, recent history gives us reason to believe that the First Amendment was more of a hook on which the Supreme Court's conservatives could hang their political hat. And the dissent of the liberals is likewise nothing to cheer. The right and left each has its own favorite form of speech deemed worthy of protection, and the twain do not often meet. Perhaps the next high-court vacancy will be filled by a jurist who sees free expression as an end in itself, rather than as a mere instrument for political gain.

Maria Romero and Kyle Smeallie, Silverglate's research assistants, contributed to this piece. Thanks to Nat Hentoff, whose book suggested the title for this piece.

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