Is Free Speech Too Expensive?

International law, in theory, holds out the promise of someday expressing values acceptable and enforceable the world over  toward the end of a more peaceful planet.   In his October 31 article in The National Journal, Troubling Signals On Free Speech, Stuart Taylor draws attention to what may be diplomatic efforts to permit restrictions on free speech as a principle of international law.  In the context of certain religious beliefs even cartoons can be worse, much worse, than yelling “fire in a crowded theater.”  In the Supreme Court foreign law may or may not be relevant in interpreting the Constitution.  But in international diplomacy, foreign culture may well be directly relevant to defining the free speech the U.S. willing to tolerate.