Why Is Free Speech Important?

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The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America grants the right to free speech a status superior than that of the other rights. Specifically the First Amendment disallows Congress from establishing any laws controlling the freedom of speech. American jurisprudence establishes the importance right of free speech, which enables proactive engagement on contemporary challenges by the citizenry ensuring extensive and vigorous public dialogue. Free speech facilitates the resolution of conflicts and optimal decision-making by the citizenry. Free speech, however, is not entirely without restraint; surrounding conditions dictate the reasonableness of any control thereof. The current legal position in the United States of America, where the Supreme Court has pronounced that speech, even belligerent speech, may only be impeded and regulated in the distinct and extant risk of impending conduct, contrary to the law, deviates from the norm internationally and in other nations. Among the few concessions to this legal…show more content…
In RAV v City of St Paul Minnesota 505 US 377 (1992) a person placed a burning cross on the private property of an African American couple in violation of a city ordinance which decreed it an offence to display a thing on any property which evokes distress, fear or antagonism on inter alia racial grounds. The court disregarded the defense that the burning cross was protected by the entitlement to free speech and that the ordinance’s violation of free speech entitlement was constitutionally invalid, holding that the burning cross represented aggressive abhorrent racism. However, upon review the Supreme Court decreed that the limitation of free speech in terms of this ordinance was unconstitutional and that alternative laws could be employed to attack and punish the reprehensible
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