This Article presents an independent analysis of a fundamental aspect of the free speech provision of the Washington Declaration of Rights, which closely resembles the free speech provisions of many other state constitutions. The focus is on whether the Washington free speech provision protects Washingtonians against abridgment of their speech and press rights by private individuals and organizations. To answer this question, this Article examines the nature of state constitutions and government, the case law of other jurisdictions interpreting similar provisions, the text of the Washington provision, the origins of the provision, the historical background of the Washington Constitutional Convention, Washington case law, current social values, and public policy considerations. Analysis of these factors reveals that the Washington Constitution can, was intended to, and does protect free speech rights against many forms of abridgment by private individuals and organizations.
Justice Robert F. Utter, The Right to Speak, Write, and Publish Freely: State Constitutional Protection Against Private Abridgment, 8 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 157 (1985).