Article Title

Listeners' Choices


Speech is a matching problem. Speakers choose listeners, and listeners choose speakers. When their choices conflict, law often decides who speaks to whom. The pattern is clear: First Amendment doctrine consistently honors listeners' choices for speech. When willing and unwilling listeners' choices conflict, willing listeners win. And when competing speakers' choices conflict, listeners'choices break the tie. This Essay provides a theoretical framework for analyzing speech problems in terms of speakers' and listeners' choices, an argument for the centrality of listener choice to any coherent theory of free speech, and supporting examples from First Amendment caselaw.