Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


A revered principle of American law is that courts will extend the holding of a case only as far as the facts require. In first amendment cases, the application of this principle often means that freedom of speech and press issues remain unresolved for years while courts come to widely varying conclusions about how the first amendment is to be interpreted. This Article proposes that courts be allowed to extend the holding of certain cases beyond the facts through "contiguous decision-making." Such additional authority is necessary to preserve the special status of the first amendment and will not greatly enlarge the power of the courts.