The case of the United States vs Miller is an intriguing case to say the least. It started with two men trying to transport sawed off shotguns and ended with a little bit of blood and some prison time. This was a case best explain by Doctor Brian L Frye in his paper The Peculiar Story of United States vs. Miller.
As Holmes had stated there are other forms that are not protected which are known as lewd, obscene, profane, libelous, and insulting words. The case Chaplinsky v New Hampshire in 1942 determined that fighting words and other forms of speech are not protected by the First Amendment. Chaplinsky had argued that the New Hampshire law violated his Fourteenth Amendment which prohibits states from infringing on citizens’ fundamental freedoms and as a result, kept him from exercising his First Amendment rights of free speech. While states are not allowed to inhibit expression of ideas, the Court did not convict him for the expression of his ideas but because his words (calling religion a ‘racket’ and a city marshal ‘damned racketeer’ and ‘damned fascist’)
The “Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition” case was argued on October 30, 2001 by the Attorney General Ashcroft. It was a case to decide if the Child Pornography Protection Act of 1996 (CPPA) was constitutional or not (Ashcroft v. The Free Speech Coalition). The CPPA prohibits “any visual depiction including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer-generated image or picture” that “is, or appears to be, a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct,” and any sexually explicit image that is “advertised, promoted, presented, described, or distributed in such a manner that convey the impression” it depicts “a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct” (Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition). “It took place at the United States Supreme Court
People have the tendency to take the First Amendment for granted, but some tend to use it to their favor. Stanley Fish presents his main argument about how people misuse this amendment for all their conflicts involving from racial issues to current political affairs in his article, Free-Speech Follies. His article involves those who misinterpret the First Amendment as their own works or constantly use it as an excuse to express their attitudes and desires about a certain subject matter. He expresses his personal opinions against those who consistently use the First Amendment as a weapon to defend themselves from harm of criticism.
This paper will discuss how censorship denies citizens of the United States our full rights as delineated in the First Amendment. It will outline how and why the first amendment was created and included in the Constitution of the United States of America. This paper will also define censorship, discuss a select few legal cases surrounding freedom of speech and censorship as well as provide national and local examples of censorship.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech”. Some people in today’s time would argue the first amendment is one of the most important listed in the Bill of Rights. Many forms of speech are protected by the first amendment that one wouldn’t think would be such as flag burning and “adult videos”. Over the years there have been many different court cases that have debated and fought the forms of speech that are protected.
“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it. Take the shot from the weapon." (Bradbury 58) Censorship is the act of suppressing speech, works of literature, music, movies, work of arts, and ideas that are thought to be politically incorrect, offensive, and threatening to society. The United States Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances ( law.cornell.edu) However, historically, government officials and organizations have been “abridging” our freedoms since the inception of this
The first amendment guarantees five basic freedoms to the American citizens. These freedoms are of speech, press, petition, assembly and religion. As all the amendments, the first amendment is intended for use in situations with the government. The first amendment was written by James Madison and was sent to the states to be ratified on September 25, 1789 along with the twelve proposals for the bill of rights.. Then it was officially adopted on December 15, 1791.
Hate is everywhere! Everywhere you turn there will always be people who hate you, your ideas, or everything. As a High School student, hate surrounds me in digital forms and physical forms. I see bullies in real life and homophobic people on my Twitter Timeline. They both share one thing in common: the first amendment. The ability to speak freely is written in the bill of rights and has been preserved for decades, but when free speech turns into hate speech it brings up the widely deliberated issue about banning hate speech.
In June 21, 1973, Miller was convicted on the ground of advertising the sale of what was considered by the court as adult material. He was found guilty as he broke the California Statute. The California Statute forbids citizens from spreading what is considered offensive in societal standards. The question that was being asked was that if the action of Miller was Constitution thus is protected under the law. However, he lost the case due to a vote of 5 - 4. The court noted that the material that Miller distributed by Miller was not protected under the first Amendment. The court said that the materials Miller distributed were offensive to people, therefore violates the California Statute. (“Miller v. California.")This is a similar argument that is used
Have you ever wondered why some college campus protests are shutdown even though the first amendment is in place? The first amendment does not always protect in every situation. The first amendment wasn’t enforced much until the 1960’s and 70’s, when the anti-war and gender equality protests first started. College campuses have a right to impede on the first amendment if it is restricting someone else’s rights. In many cases some protesters will block off an entrance to an event or will start to harass people walking past. In rarer cases some will protest on things that may cause fights.
Censorship in America can vary between the silencing of young voices and the prevention of exposing others of inappropriate material. Many people are afraid of losing their freedom of speech, as first amendment rights should be mandatory for American citizens. Polar to this argument insists the importance of censorship, as it can shield the public from information that can lead to fear or chaos. Leaving students ignorant to world problems, however, is argued by Sonja West that it removes their first amendment rights and creates a future working-class of Americans who are clouded from the truth. West is a law professor at the University of Georgia who is distinguished for her expertise in the first amendment law and minor in journalism. In her article, “Censorship 101,” West crafts her text through numerous court case experience and skill in rhetorical devices as her background expertise is used to her advantage.
On the sidewalks of Rochester in the year 1942, Walter Chaplinsky was arrested for repeating 'You are a God damned racketeer' and 'a damned Fascist’ to a police officer. Chaplinsky’s statements violated a New Hampshire law prohibiting offensive, derisive, or annoying words or sounds said unto an individual or party in a public place. He appealed the decision of the District Court, and when it came to the Supreme Court, they came to a profound decision. Supreme Court Justice Murphy said there are certain words that could reasonably result in a fight or a breach of peace when uttered. These “fighting words” are not protected under the first Amendment. Fighting words shouldn’t be a constitutional issue because people are allowed to speak, even is it will cause a flare in tempers.
The 1st Amendment guarantees the individual the freedom of religion, speech, press, to assemble, and to petition the government. Freedom of speech allows for people to partake in the democratic process by allowing them to speak their beliefs and political ideals. Without the freedom, there couldn’t be a democracy (Ginsberg, 2014). Though there are different forms of speech, some that are protected and some that are not.
This source highlights the absence of the first amendment in many speech related crimes, such as conspiracy and verbal harassment. The article discusses how these are not crimes that are being committed, rather, these are crimes that are only being discussed. This raises the question of whether or not the United States is overcriminilizing speech. The article argues that in order for these crimes to seriously be considered as a criminal offense, the government needs to create an objective way of qualifying what is and