TU Law Professor Tamara Piety Offers "Brandishing the First Amendment"

Aug 23, 2012

Our guest on today's edition of StudioTulsa is Tamara Piety of The University of Tulsa College of Law, where she is an Associate Dean of Faculty Development, a Professor of Law, and a Faculty Sponsor for the Women's Law Caucus. Her new book, just out from the University of Michigan Press, is "Brandishing the First Amendment: Commercial Expression in America." It's a scholarly work that explores legal, political, and philosophical themes --- and its subject matter couldn't be more timely. Indeed, over the past generation or so, more and more corporations and other commercial organizations have won courtroom battles in their efforts to gain more and more First Amendment protections for commercial speech. This is now, as we all know, the age in which (as the saying goes) "corporations are seen as people" --- or, the era in which companies are seen by many to have the same basic rights as individual citizens (such as, for example, the right to make certain kinds of political contributions). In her book, then, Professor Piety collects evidence from public relations and marketing trends, behavioral economics, psychology texts, and cognitive studies to demonstrate how overly permissive extensions of First Amendment protections to commercial expression effectively limit the government's power to address some of the major social, economic, and environmental challenges of our time. (You can learn more about Professor Piety and her work here.)