Wednesday, November 13, 2019
First Amendment Rights During War Considering that the 1st Amendment of the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, can and should government regulate hate speech, or seek to address the harm it causes? Based on a premise that there is no such a thing as absolute right or absolute freedom, we can infer that a government can and should regulate any speech and seek to address the harm it causes; but the real issue is -- where, when, and how can it be regulated? Trying to balance both, freedom of speech and the fear of an inflammatory press report, the Supreme Court has produced probably the most famous legalistic test -- "clear and present danger." The underlying idea is that bureaucrats cannot punish a speaker/writer unless he/she creates a "clear and present danger" to others. Theoretically, this standard appears to be supportive of the right to speak freely. However, in practice, it is difficult to determine Ã¢â¬Å"whenÃ¢â¬ the danger was "clear" enough for an "avera ge" reporter, how remote it could be and yet still be considered "present," and how precisely hazardous the "danger" should be to justify suppression of a speech. In addition to speech, the 1st Amendment protects writing, demonstrating, parading, leafleting, and certain forms of symbolic expression. The freedom of speech becomes a subject to "reasonable time, manner, and place" regulations, as long as these regulations are "content-neutral." Translating this legalistic jargon in plain English, the bureaucrats cannot restrict the content of what the speaker has to say, but it is their prerogative to reason what "reasonable" time, manner, and place are. And we know how they usually define what "reasonable" is (for them, of course). Brandenburg vs. Ohio In Brandenbu... ...otential attackers across a wider geographic area." Such a flat-out conclusion -- about 180 degrees from the trumpeted rationale for spending billions in Afghanistan -- might seem to merit more than a few dozen words. The assessment, while prominent, was brief and fleeting. It seemed to cause little stir in American news media. So, actually, First Amendment is not really a guarantee. It's a promissory ideal that can be redeemed only by media vitality in the present. If freedom of speech can be augmented by freedom to be heard, then Americans may hear enough divergent voices to disabuse themselves of easy and deadly clichÃ ©s. References 1) Norman SolomonÃ¢â¬â¢s book "The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media" 2) Schenck Case retrieved from http://www.thisnation.com/library on 23/04/2003 3) Cases Incorporated: Schenck v. U.S., Brandenburg Vs. Ohio and U.S. v. OÃ¢â¬â¢Brien.