Tuesday, November 28, 2023

When Can The Government Limit Free Speech

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Should There Be Restrictions On Freedom Of Speech

What Are Your Free Speech Rights On Social Media? | NBC News NOW

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any person that goes against religion.

It protects the right to free speech, the right to the freedom of press and the right to peaceful assembly. It was adopted on December 15 1791.

Now freedom of speech does not grant you the ability to make threats of violence or incite hatred for particular groups therefore not an argument that freedom of speech limitations would help stop.

Lets say, For Example.

Child suicide rates because its virtually impossible to change those rapes so dramatically by posting up limitations of what a bully can say freedom of speech is important not to be censored with governmental censorship comes governmental corruption.

The government would become corrupt if they limit what can be said through their country?

Now when the government restricts certain unallowable opinions and at the same time pretends to be protecting.

Freedom of speech is essentially saying youre free to say whatever you want as long as you dont say. This is the same principle that existed and even the most pilot Aryan societies seeing that society has free speech becomes meaningless.

Now indeed the only thing about giving the government the power to limit speech is that it will be using power unpredictably the founder of the American Civil Liberties Union, Roger Ballwin put it well when he said In order to defend the people, you have to defend the people you hate.

Political And Other Types Of Expression

Abolition of the spoils system in federal employment brought with it restrictions on political activities by federal employees. In 1876, federal employees were prohibited from requesting from, giving to, or receiving from any other federal employee money for political purposes, and the Civil Service Act of 1883 more broadly forbade civil service employees to use their official authority or influence to coerce political action of any person or to interfere with elections.28 By the Hatch Act, federal employees, and many state employees as well, are forbidden to take any active part in political management or in political campaigns.29 As applied through the regulations and rulings of the Office of Personnel Management, formerly the Civil Service Commission, the Act prevents employees from running for public office, distributing campaign literature, playing an active role at political meetings, circulating nomination petitions, attending a political convention except as a spectator, publishing a letter soliciting votes for a candidate, and all similar activity.30 The question is whether government, which may not prohibit citizens in general from engaging in these activities, may nonetheless so control the off-duty activities of its own employees.

Freedom Of Speech Definition

Freedom of speech is the constitutional right that protects Americans’ ability to say or express what they want without fear of reprisal from the government. The Constitution doesn’t define what “speech” means, so it’s often left up to the courts to decide what they mean as situations arise that set the precedent for future generations.

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Private Enterprise And Places Of Employment

The First Amendment protections apply to government actions. They do not apply to private businesses. You have no free speech rights in your workplace. Your employer is entitled to enforce prohibitions against political speech, religious speech and profanity. If you have a bumper sticker on your car that your boss deems offensive, he can demand that you remove the bumper sticker or face dismissal. Private employers can ban political discussions and clothing that expresses political or controversial views.

As with employers, the First Amendment does not apply to restrictions imposed by a private business. A store, restaurant, or other business can ban patrons who violate their company policies by wearing clothing with profanity, carrying picket signs or posters into the business, screaming profanity at employees or customers, or giving soapbox type speeches. Private business has the right to refuse service to customers it deems offensive, so long as there is no sexual, racial or religious discrimination.

Expressive And Symbolic Speech

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Certain forms of speech are protected from censure by governments. For instance, the First Amendment protects pure speech, defined as that which is merely expressive, descriptive, or assertive. The Court has held that the government may not suppress speech simply because it thinks it is offensive. Even presidents are not immune from being criticized and ridiculed.

Less clearly defined are those forms of speech referred to as speech plus, that is, speech that carries an additional connotation. This includes symbolic speech, in which meanings are conveyed without words.

In Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District , the Court upheld the right of middle and high school students to wear black armbands to school to protest U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

One of the most controversial examples of symbolic speech has produced a series of flag desecration cases, including Spence v. Washington , Texas v. Johnson , and United States v. Eichman .

Despite repeated attempts by Congress to make it illegal to burn or deface the flag, the Court has held that such actions are protected. Writing for the 5-4 majority in Texas v. Johnson, Justice William J. Brennan Jr. stated, We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so we dilute the freedom that this cherished emblem represents.

When speech turns into other forms of action, constitutional protections are less certain.

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Surprising Exceptions To Freedom Of Speech

Your right to free speech is limited by where you are, what you say, and how you say it.

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Although the First Amendment to the Constitution states, Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, Americans dont have the luxury of always saying whatever they want. Your right to free speech is limited by where you are, what you say, and how you say it.

Here are six areas where your talk can make you liable in criminal or civil court.

Can The Government Take Away Your Right To Free Speech

The highest law in our land is the U.S. Constitution, which has some amendments, known as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights guarantees that the government can never deprive people in the U.S. of certain fundamental rights including the right to freedom of religion and to free speech and the due process of law.

What are some examples of when the government can legally restrict free speech?

Can the government violate your free speech?

The text of the First Amendment itself only prevents Congress from making laws that restrict the freedom of speech. In other words, a private person or private company cannot violate your constitutional free speech rights, only the government can do so.

What would happen if the First Amendment was taken away?

Assembly: With no First Amendment, protest rallies and marches could be prohibited according to official and/or public whim membership in certain groups could also be punishable by law. Petition: Threats against the right to petition the government often take the form of SLAPP suits .

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Case Study: Poland And The Right To Protest

Amnesty International has documented how people in Poland have taken to the streets to express their opinions despite restrictive legislation combined with heavy-handed policing, surveillance, harassment and prosecution which threaten to strangle the right to peaceful protest.

Since 2016, tens of thousands of people have protested against repressive legislation aimed at curbing womens rights and undermining the independence of the judiciary. Protesters have routinely been met with a show of force and restrictive measures that infringe their right to be seen and heard. Hundreds have found themselves in police custody and facing lengthy court proceedings.

In parallel with tightening the laws affecting the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, the government has vastly expanded the surveillance powers of law enforcement agencies with evidence that these expanded powers have been used against people engaged in organizing and participating in peaceful protests.

Why Is Free Speech For Students Not Absolute

Uproar over changes to broadcasting bill that could limit free speech

The right to read, hear, see and obtain different points of view is a First Amendment right as well. But the right to free speech is not absolute. The First Amendment also protects the right not to associate, which means that the government cannot force people to join a group they do not wish to join.

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The First Amendment Ignored

Early Americans enjoyed great freedom compared to citizens of other nations. Nevertheless, once in power, even the Constitution’s framers were guilty of overstepping the First Amendment they had so recently adopted. In 1798, during the French-Indian War, Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Act, which made it a crime for anyone to publish “any false, scandalous and malicious writing” against the government. It was used by the then-dominant Federalist Party to prosecute prominent Republican newspaper editors during the late 18th century.

Throughout the 19th century, sedition, criminal anarchy and criminal conspiracy laws were used to suppress the speech of abolitionists, religious minorities, suffragists, labor organizers, and pacifists. In Virginia prior to the Civil War, for example, anyone who “by speaking or writing maintains that owners have no right of property in slaves” was subject to a one-year prison sentence.

Free speech rights still need constant, vigilant protection. New questions arise and old ones return. Should flag burning be a crime? What about government or private censorship of works of art that touch on sensitive issues like religion or sexuality? Should the Internet be subject to any form of government control? What about punishing college students who espouse racist or sexist opinions? In answering these questions, the history and the core values of the First Amendment should be our guide.

Defamation: Hurting Another Persons Reputation

Freedom of speech does not permit someone to make a false statement about another person that could damage his or her reputation. This applies to the spoken word, which is called slander, as well as libel, which is defamation in print. Making these false statements must also be done with the intent to harm another. In one of the most important libel cases in the U.S., a police commissioner in Montgomery, Alabama, L.B. Sullivan sued the New York Times for making inaccurate statements about the police department. The Supreme Court ruled that the newspaper did not commit libel because the statements were a mistake, not intentional, and that it could be more difficult to debate public issues if those who work in the public can sue anytime a false statement is made.

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Can They Say Thank God For Orlando Or God Hates Insert Epithet Here

As horrible as it is, yes they can but have they ever said Were going to go shoot up a gay nightclub?

The next time you choose to say or post something, stop and ask yourself:

Would the Westboro Baptist Church get away with saying this?

If the answer is no, you may want to rethink hitting that send button along with a few of your other life choices.

Freedom of speech gives us a wide range of things were allowed to say.

There are a very few things we can be put in jail for saying.

A few more things we can be sued or fined for saying. And a lot of things that we can lose our reputations, careers, and privileges for saying.

I cannot stress this enough, the first amendment protects you from the government in most cases. It is not a magic just kidding button you can hit whenever you say something that lands you in hot water.

So the next time you want to exercise your right to free speech, suely you take a second to think about what youre about to say, because now, you know better.

Obscenity Is Not Protected By The First Amendment

George Washington Quotes On Freedom. QuotesGram

whether the average person applying contemporary community standards would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest whether the work depicts or describes in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law and whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

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Freedom Of Speech / Freedom Of The Press

The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech may be exercised in a direct or a symbolic way. Freedom of speech is recognized as a human right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without government interference or regulation. The Supreme Court requires the government to provide substantial justification for the interference with the right of free speech where it attempts to regulate the content of the speech. Generally, a person cannot be held liable, either criminally or civilly for anything written or spoken about a person or topic, so long as it is truthful or based on an honest opinion and such statements.

A less stringent test is applied for content-neutral legislation. The Supreme Court has also recognized that the government may prohibit some speech that may cause a breach of the peace or cause violence. For more on unprotected and less protected categories of speech see advocacy of illegal action, fighting words, commercial speech and obscenity. The right to free speech includes other mediums of expression that communicate a message. The level of protection speech receives also depends on the forum in which it takes place.

Wrestling With Sedition And Seditious Speech

In general, sedition is defined as trying to overthrow the government with intent and means to bring it about the Supreme Court, however, has been divided over what constitutes intent and means.

In general, the government has been less tolerant of perceived sedition in times of war than in peace. The first federal attempt to censor seditious speech occurred with the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 under President John Adams.

These acts made it a federal crime to speak, write, or print criticisms of the government that were false, scandalous, or malicious. Thomas Jefferson compared the acts to witch hunts and pardoned those convicted under the statues when he succeeded Adams.

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The Supreme Court And The First Amendment

During our nation’s early era, the courts were almost universally hostile to political minorities’ First Amendment rights free speech issues did not even reach the Supreme Court until 1919 when, in Schenck v. U.S., the Court unanimously upheld the conviction of a Socialist Party member for mailing anti-anti-war leaflets to draft-age men. A turning point occurred a few months later in Abrams v. U.S. Although the defendant’s conviction under the Espionage Act for distributing anti-war leaflets was upheld, two dissenting opinions formed the cornerstone of our modern First Amendment law. Justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis D. Brandeis argued speech could only be punished if it presented “a clear and present danger” of imminent harm. Mere political advocacy, they said, was protected by the First Amendment. Eventually, these justices were able to convince a majority of the Court to adopt the “clear and present danger test.”

Finally, in 1969, in Brandenberg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court struck down the conviction of a Ku Klux Klan member, and established a new standard: Speech can be suppressed only if it is intended, and likely to produce, “imminent lawless action.” Otherwise, even speech that advocates violence is protected. The Brandenberg standard prevails today.

How Is This Legal The Us Government Has Given A $7 Million Taxpayer

What are the limits of free speech? | Big Think

In a world that is quickly bending its knee to robotics, its not surprising the U.S. government is deep in the game of advanced computer technology especially when that game involves getting citizens to parrot the unscientific and immoral schemes of the Biden administration.

Though most everyone above the age of 30 knows the U.S. Constitution prohibits any form of governmental suppression of free speech, the Biden administration is busy doing what it does best:

They are rendering the Bill of Rights meaningless and turning federal agencies into tax-funded weaponry for cracking down on citizens who oppose the woke, progressive, and anti-science decrees of the White House.

The latest attack is a $7 million federal grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to a group called Hack/Hackers to work on a Convergence Accelerators program.

Hack/Hackers wants to aid citizens in combating and correcting alleged misinformation posted on social media by friends, relatives, pastors, conservative groups, medical professionals, elected officials, or schoolteachers who are standing up to and ridiculing Bidens woke narratives.

Regardless of who posted the misinformation, this AI program will help users give a response that both shame the deceiver and teaches him correct thinking.

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When Can The Government Constitutionally Restrict Speech

As the Supreme Court held in Brandenburg v. Ohio , the government may forbid incitementspeech directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to incite or produce such action .

Does the US Constitution limit hate speech?

Hate speech in the United States cannot be directly regulated due to the fundamental right to freedom of speech protected by the Constitution.

What kind of speech is not protected by the First Amendment?

What Did The First Amendment Originally Mean

The First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. For Americans, this language is familiar. But what exactly does it mean? How far do the speech and press clauses restrict governmental power? The founders, as we will see, answered these questions very differently than we typically do today. And the reasons why highlight fundamental shifts in American constitutional thought.

At first glance, the text of the speech and press clauses might appear to prevent Congress from imposing any restrictions on expression. But this reading cant be right, and it never has been. Every well-functioning government needs to restrict at least some speech. Laws against committing perjury, disclosing classified information, and making terrorist threats, for instance, all restrict speech, but no one seriously doubts their constitutionality. In any event, the First Amendment says only that Congress cannot abridge the freedom of speech or the press it doesnt say that Congress cannot restrict speech or the press at all. By itself, the text is unclear.

With only peripheral exceptions, however, modern judicial decisions about expressive freedom do not consider original meaning at all. For jurists of all stripes, interpreting the First Amendment is a historical dead zone.

Rights were not always claims against the public good, and judges were not always the ones who decided their full scope. Where we go from here is up to us.

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