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55 Okla. L. Rev. 559 (2002)
The Ultimate Question: A Limited Argument for Trafficking in Stolen Speech

handle is hein.journals/oklrv55 and id is 585 raw text is: OKLAHOMA

VOLUME 55          WINTER 2002         NUMBER 4

Although it recently came close, the Supreme Court has never answered
the ultimate question of First Amendment law: should First Amendment
protection extend to the publication' of truthful information obtained by
a publisher through unlawful means?' In the case of Bartnicki v. Vopper,
the Court took its boldest steps to date in this area and extended the First
Amendment shield to a 'punished publisher of information [that] obtained
the information in question in a manner lawful in itself but from a source
© 2003 Matthew J. Coleman
*  Associate, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York, N.Y. B.A., Wake Forest
University, 1997; J.D., Yale Law School, 2000. I would like to thank my wife, Monica, for
providing the encouragement that made this article possible. She read countless drafts and
provided helpful comments and suggestions. Thanks also to my parents, John and Sharon,
who similarly read every draft and again demonstrated their unwavering support.
1. Throughout this Article, I will use the words publish and publication to refer to
the dissemination of information via both print and electronic media, including radio,
television, and the Internet.
2. In Florida Star v. B.J.F., 491 U.S. 524, 532 (1989), the majority noted that the Court
has carefully eschewed reaching this ultimate question, mindful that the future may bring
scenarios which prudence counsels... not resolving anticipatorily.

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