I believe that the freedom of speech is for the most part, properly applied. Many cases involving freedom of speech set precedents for further ones and the courts stuck to them. For example, in Schenk VS United States, we see that Schenk is not protected because his speech was an example of what could be clear and present danger. Also, during war time, freedom of speech is allowed to be limited to better protect the people. The freedom of speech is also protected in cases that involve conflicting views and helps strike down laws that violate the freedom of speech. We see this is Black VS Virginia. Black was in charge of burning cross at a KKK assembly and used his freedom of symbolic speech to do so. He was fined and arrested for going against the law that prohibited burning crosses. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of black, and did not allow that law to exist because it threatened the freedom of symbolic speech and it did not allow for further evidence to be gathered. Lastly, we see that the government itself is checked in the cases involving speech. As seen in NY Times VS the United States Government, the court ruled in favor of the NY Times. The Times published the pentagon papers which were stolen from the white house which had top secret information on military strategies and other information about the war in Vietnam. The ruling was in favor of the Times and proved that even the federal government is strongly limited when it comes to censoring and stopping our speech.
Our nation was made so that people were allowed to have conflicting views and were allowed to speak up about them. The fact that different groups can support their opinion or disapprove someone else’s proves we have a large amount of freedom in our speech. As long as we don’t hurt or put another person in danger we can speak our minds. By allowing one group to protest about a certain idea, we allow the opposing idea to protest as well. This beauty of speech in our country is a gift and in my opinion is pretty well applied.
I agree with Sarah on this, especially with the point she makes in her last paragraph. Our country does a pretty good job at tackling a truly difficult task, balancing the importance of freedom of speech with the safety of individuals.
I also agree with you. Our government does a good job of protecting our freedom of speech, even in times when it might seem undesirable. In other words, the government doesn't protect our speech in a cheap or partial way
I agree with Sara. I think that the fact that all of these cases either already have or will serve as precedents for similar cases in the future, it is very important that the court makes wise decisions concerning all of them. I believe that the court is doing a very good job.
Freedom of speech is not properly applied and it is being abused. In these three cases it shows how citizens have used different ways of speeches to intimidate or threaten something but they are getting away with it because they are twisting the words in the first amendment.
In New York Times vs. United States, New York Times had received stolen information that was related to the war in Vietnam. It showed Americans about military airstrikes and other military relations. The government attacked New York Times stating that releasing this classified information is endangering national security. The information being released is classified and thus puts the country in great risk. Even with that being said, the court ruled in favor of New York Times because the first amendment fully protects New York Times with freedom of speech and press.
In Skokie vs. The Nazi Party, people walked and march around with NAZI uniforms in a place where survivors of the Holocaust lived to escape persecution. Obviously the survivors of holocaust are intimidated and threatened by these NAZI uniforms. However, the court ruled in favor of the NAZI demonstration.
In the case of Black vs. Virginia, Black burned a cross in Virginia where doing something like this can result with being charged with a class 6 felony. Barry was also from the Ku Klux Klan which shows that the cross burning was a threat to Christians. However , it was ruled by the court that Virginia law does not stand against Black.
I see what you you're saying, however there are those four restraints if anything is destructive and dangerous. The other thing that I wanted to point out, is that I believe the person who stole the pentagon papers had a different trial. The issue in the New York times v united states case, was not whether it was fair to steal the papers, but it had to do with was it fair to publish it.
I agree with Susan when she says that "...restraints if anything is destructive and dangerous" Although it is unfortunate that there is no morally soothing way to have solved the situations of Skokie vs. The Nazi Party and Black vs. Virginia it was the proper decision to have made when concerning the tasks at hand, speech and how it can be expressed. To have prevented either of them would have been detrimental to real proper application of the right.
Although I'll admit I still feel that the court could have ruled against black if the a case was made over the use of fire as being overall unnecessary and dangerous.
The government can offer protection, the government can offer aid, but they should not be able to limit someone if they have no proof of the speech that one use to have a negative intent as to advocate a specific negative physical situation. It becomes a very sensitive issue of reactive vs preemptive. Preemptive can be useful and not lead to a problem, but it can also prevent similar goals. Reactive results in already facing a problem. In this case or any relating case in accordance to the decision made, if need be the government can and should provide aid in protecting the people such as officers since the case was made they would not have enough officers, or enforcers to watch out for perhaps negativity proposed by the KKK, because they can be racist, you cant forcibly change that but they can be overseen to prevent that creating an action of consequence.
And about the case of the papers, i think the point that won the argument was that it was deemed that the papers did not threaten national security but rather exposed the understanding of the war. It was revealing rather than compromising on a military level so it was the right decision.
Although Zeek's arguments make sense, I disagree with most of them. I really don't think that the nation's safety was jeopardized by the publishing of the Pentagon Papers, as those papers exposed military actions that had already happened. I think that, in the case of NY Times v. US, the court's ruling upheld the First Amendment right to freedom of the press, and that this is one of the best examples in our country's history of proper application of this right.
The cases of Skokie and Black are complicated and upsetting to consider; morally, I would never approve of Nazis marching in a neighborhood of holocaust survivors, or KKK rituals. Zeke's point makes sense, and I don't wholly disagree with it. In both of these cases, it seems to me that the aim may very well have been to intimidate, though I would have to do much more research to be confident of that. However, we must consider that the Supreme Court should be very careful not to needlessly infringe upon our feedom of speech. In both Skokie and Black, there was no obvious physical "clear and present danger" to anyone's life or person. I think it's good that our Supreme Court tends to rule to protect freedom of speech. Generally, I think we've done a reasonable job keeping this right alive and healthy. However, I do believe it could be beneficial if the Court took the issue of intimidation more seriously. America should not be a place where people fear for their lives and families, because the First Amendment is interpreted to protect emotional terrorism.
I also believe that we've kept this country in reasonably good condition. I don't think the court needs to think about the intimidation issue anymore than it already does. Yes, the Nazis beliefs, for example, aren't the most pleasant, but unless there is clear evidence that they could possibly harm others, it is not fair for the court to step in. People should trust that if the court allowed something to happen, there is no threat involved no matter what the event and which group it involves.
I think that in most of these cases freedom of speech is properly applied, only on the basis that the Constitution is so legally binding when it comes to individual rights that it makes it hard to make arguments for when a person's speech should be censured. The 1st Amendment gives a person the right to freely express their views and opinons, protest, and otherwise share their opinion and is generally accepted except when that person's speech shows a clear and present danger. I think the Supreme Court is right to uphold freedom of speech in most of these cases; a person should be allowed the right to speak regardless of whether or not people agree with what they are saying. If we were take away that one right, it would be hard to assure the people that their other rights wont be infringed upon. I think agree with Sara, with the idea that allowing one group to express their views opens the door for an opposing group to share their views as well--people get the same chance to voice their opinions so it doesn't really harm any one group because anyone has the chance to fight back with their own form of speech.
I also think that it's very hard to justify taking away freedom of speech and the situation could be really messy if the government decided to limit this particular right. In Tinker, students were facing punishment in school after wearing wrist bands protesting the war--i think the court was right to rule their protest constitutional, as it was harmless and was simply political expression, which any citizen in this country is entitled to. In NY Times, the Supreme Court rules that the government cannot censure a company or person unless they sufficiently justify it--they cannot just use any excuse, and claim that just anything is a threat to national security. The people have the right to speak out or share information about the war. In Skokie, it was ruled that Nazi demonstrations were to be allowed because the court could not prove that the demonstrations were malicious or intended to hurt anyone. Although this not be morally correct, constitutionally, no matter what someone's views are, they should get the same rights as any other person.
I think that the freedom of speech is properly protected. I also think that the court does an excellent job of keeping the people's first amendment rights in tack. In the NY Times case, even though the papers were obtained illegally from the pentagon, the press most definitely had the right to inform the public of something it believed the public should be aware of. In the Chaplinsky case, it was wise of the court to rule against Chaplinsky because he did, in fact, express fighting words and endanger peace. The court usually makes the correct decisions on cases involving the first amendment. Which is a very good thing, especially because, like Sara said, all of these cases will eventually become precedents for future cases. Things get a bit tougher when dealing with cases involving issues that most people morally disagree with. The Skokie case is rather complicated; I would not approve of Nazis marching in a jewish neighborhood, but it would be wrong of me to deny them thier rights unless it was proven that they would disrupt the peace. The court has made great decisions in the past when determining cases that involve controversial groups. I do not think it is likely that the court will endanger the nation in order to protect people's right to free speech, if there is clear and present danger, the court will act properly.
In a country where there is diversity within cultures, religions, people, there are bound to be conflicting viewpoints. Not everyone is going to see eye to eye with each other. Some arguments may be offensive and/or hurtful. It can cause feuds and potentially endanger others. That is where the government regulates and limits the freedom of speech. The government does their best in upholding the First Amendment rights of their people. They try to give everyone the chance to voice his/her beliefs. In many Supreme Court cases, we see that the freedom of speech is properly applied because the government considers the circumstances within each case regarding First Amendment rights.
In the case Skokie vs. The Nationalist Socialist Party, there were Nazis who marched through a heavily populated Jewish city; most of them were Holocaust survivors. They protested with swastikas and were considered offensive and hurtful. The court ruled that this was permissible under the law because there was no clear and present danger. The Nazis' First Amendment rights were uphold. The court believed that society depended on free discussion even though others may not agree with their words.
In NY Times vs. the U.S., secretive information was leaked to the press about the Vietnam War and military tactics. NY Times published the Pentagon Papers. Many opposed and believed that national security was in debt. The court sided with NY Times and stated that the government did not meet the justification of prior restraint. There was no standard for prior restraint and that it was limited. The threat to national security was unclear. Therefore, government censorship was minimal.
In Tinker vs. Des Moines, two elementary school children wore armbands to protest against the Vietnam War. They were then suspended by their principal. The principal believed that was was offensive and was inappropriate for a school environment. However, the court ruled that free speech does not end at school gates. Regarding suspension, the district ruled that the school district was wrong. Moreover, the arm bands did not disrupt school activity; the activity was represented constitutionally by protected symbolic speech.
I agree with Sara that this nation allows people to voice his/her own beliefs and ideas, even though they may be offensive to others. People are guaranteed First Amendment rights and should not be censored by the government unless others are endangered. I also agree with Shantia that some arguments make it hard for the government to limit or censor. There are many diverse ideas that are constantly voiced. It may cause conflicts and disputes. It is up to the government to examine the circumstances to decide what is the best ethical solution to uphold the First Amendment.
I think freedom of speech is properly applied. Although the Supreme Court faced many controversial issues, they managed to make the decisions that would protect freedom of speech rather than restricting it.
In the Tinker case, elementary students wore black arm bands to school in order to protest the Vietnam War. The school found that it was inappropriate and it would cause disruption. The Court ruled that kids are people too and they have rights that can’t be taken away just because they are in school.
In the Stokie case, nazi demonstrators marched through a mostly jewish neighborhood with holocaust survivors. While I agree it was inappropriate, there was no clear and present danger and there was no proof that they meant to cause harm other then to voice out their beliefs. The court ruled in favor of the demonstrators which protects the freedom of speech. If we deny them the right to not demonstrate we would have to deny everyone even if there is no clear or present danger.
In the NYT case, the court ruled in favor of the NYT because the government couldn’t properly explain how national security was being threatened. The NYT did not actually steal the pentagon papers so the government couldn’t do anything about shutting them down. This decision helps protect not only people, but a paper’s freedom of speech. If the court had ruled in favor of the U.S, it would have been a great restriction of freedom of speech.
I agree with Sara’s point that both sides are able to voice out their opinions only if there is no clear or present danger. These cases not only set precedents but they also protected our freedom of speech.
I can see Zeek’s point of view and although I agree that in some cases there was probably intimidation we can’t prove that they actually meant harm because they didn’t cause any danger.
I agree with Sara. On the surface, many of these court decisions seem strange. After all, cross-burning was clearly being used as intimidation in Virginia v. Black. And the Nazi march through Skokie was potentially a threat to the community. But if the government had decided to go the other way in these cases-in other words, banning cross-burning and marches altogether-our right to free speech today would be severely limited. With Supreme Court cases in general, there seems to be a pattern of thinking about the future. The Court knows that all of its decisions will be used as precedents in the future; so even if a decision may not be perfect for the case at hand, it has to protect our rights in the future. The Court actually has enormous power in "legislating," and I think it's used that power wisely.
Overall, I think our right to free speech is pretty well protected. As Charlotte said, our government has to balance protecting the people from harm with a free and open society. It's an incredibly difficult job for such a huge nation, and taking this into account, I think the government does admirably. Of course, it has made mistakes in the past. Things like the Alien and Sedition acts, or the Patriot act, can be arguably considered unnecessary limits on our right to free speech. I think the biggest weakness of our government, at least when free speech is concerned, is that it seems to throw a lot of things out the window whenever our country goes to war. Though wartime is a tricky thing, as seen through the New York Times case, I think the government should work on retaining our complete rights to free speech during war. Otherwise, we may as well throw it out completely.
I enjoyed reading this post because i agree with a lot of what Raye has to say and think that she raises some valid points. The Court i feel proves that it plays a key role by asserting its rights of Judicial Review. In my presentation for class i tried to get into the role of going against the US to protect Schenk and drew back to how the Alien and Sedition acts were wrong when they were passed in the late 1700s and argued that the Espionage and Sedition Acts were wrong too. I felt that under the decision made in Scheck vs US it was a reasonable considering the efforts of a nation and its strength is jeopardized differently with the draft and the pamphlets than revealing information about Vietnam was.
I think that the freedom of speech is properly applied. Although thee are some cases that I don't agree with morally, I do understand how the Supreme Court thought of it. In other words, the Supreme Court can't pick and choose what cases to grant freedom of speech. That being said, the Supreme court did establish limits when necessary. For example in Schenk v United States, Schenk was passing flyers about antidrafting. Although it is a freedom of expression to do so, it is during time of war and the court ruled "clear and present danger". It makes sense for the Supreme court to limit the freedom in this case.
In the case of NYT v united states the circumstances were quite different. The NYT didn't steal the papers. The person who did was put under a trial for criminal charges. The issue in the NYT was whether it was constitutional for Nixon to try and stop the NYT from publishing the document. Nixon couldn't prove how it would threat national security, so the freedom of speech remained to the NYT.
In the case of Tinker v Des Moines, the students were wearing black bands to show dissupport for the Vietnam war, in a school building. The court ruled that the rights of the students don't stop at the schoolhouse gate. I strongly agree with that. The court also said that if it intereferes with the discipline of he education, then the school district can put limitations. I sort of agree with that, because it is important to set rules in a school setting and disallow certain activities that otherwise might have been allowed. And I also think that it is fair enough to let the school district make decisions in this area.
I agree, I think that freedom of speech is properly applied in the Supreme Court cases. In Tinker vs. Des Moines which involved armbands in school protesting the war freedom of speech was appropriately applied. Students have the right to express their opinions wherever they are, but if it gets too disruptive then the principals have the right to prohibit it. In Skokie vs. the Nazi Party, I also believe they made the right decision. Just because it is immoral to all of us, does not mean it is immoral to them. It would be limiting freedom of speech, just because the government and most people do not agree with them. As long as they are not physically hurting someone, they have the rights to their opinions. The same goes for Black vs. Virginia, I also think that people have the right to their own actions as long as it is not meant to intimidate. Just because I personally cannot think of a situation involving a burning cross that is not intimidating, doesn’t mean there isn’t one. If it is not meant as intimidating, then people should have the right to do whatever. I think the Supreme Court has done its job in protecting the right to speak in all of its forms. They continue to ensure our free speech, even if the majority of people do not believe in what people are saying or doing.
I wonder how much the barrier of government and rights relates to social situation during a war, because even though we assert more government rights during a war because it requires safety i feel like war will also have social aspects to it that lead the court to make "questionable" and hard to swallow decisions. Be it the Schenck case where he was punished for using speech but in a way that reached out to people to refuse the draft, something the government needed to fight in the war. As Charlotte mentioned the patriot act become strange anomalies of enforcement, no different was the internment of Japanese-Americans albeit the responsibility for each of these cannot fall on one institution its a rather interesting behavior we see.
Tinker vs Des Moines displayed proper speech application because although the political statements as symbolic speech were controversial the court made a reasonable decision allowing them to display an opinion if it is not distracting or improper.
Skokie vs. The Nazi Party and Black vs. Virginia were the proper decided as well which i talked about in a different aspect earlier believing they left precedents that help protect our rights and the options we have of speech in a larger scale. Here i agree with Sara's point that "Our nation was made so that people were allowed to have conflicting views and were allowed to speak up about them." Views can be conflicting and can easily create unrest but they are protected so long as they do not cause harm.
It is true that freedom of speech is rendered to every citizen, however application of that ability to a willing audience at a conditioned time and under justified circumstances is imperative for such liberties provisioned by the first amendment to remain constitutionally valid. Through out controversial intervals of this nation where there existed a breach in liberties, the supreme court was directed at trying to define the nature and form of expression/speech in regards to the scenario. In my perspective, the freedom of speech was applied properly in the cases examined, however I am sure there are cases where the circumstances were weighed and appraised without substantiality. And so as cases arise, the courts had to weigh, define and apply if limitations were necessary in cases such as Schenk, Stockie, Black, etc.
:In Virginia v. Black- Mr.Barry Black violated the Virginia statute by burning a cross as an approach to express himself symbolically. It is allegedly known that he was a member of the K.K.K and therefore it is most likely that this was a tactic used to intimidate the community and the religious groups. In my perspective the held decision which provided Black the ability to perform such actions is unjustified and the application of the constitutional provisions in this specific scenario is filled with flaw. I concur that there existed no reasonable evidence of danger/harm to organized democratic institutions. In a way the decision held is justified since it did not create any realistic clear danger to the state/ or public, simply annoyance and inconvenience for the community. The "evil" in question must inspire "bodily harm" or an intimidation that drifts away from the nature of expression. According to the provided evidence, the cross burning did not provide clear and present danger, however the nature of this expressive approach could only breed violence.
In Frank Collin/NSPA vs. Village of Stockie: The NSPA, a nazi affiliated group claimed the right to march/protest in a heavily jewish populated village of Stockie. The march consisted of swastikas, etc after applying for a permit, the request was denied. The village of Stockie eventually issued an injunction to restrict/oppose the Nazi affiliated march since they felt that it was designed to intimidate and threaten the public. It was held that the Nazi affiliated march was not designed in function to harm, it was simply a peaceful assembly motioned by similar views (that may have been assumed uncomfortable/immoral), but never associated as clear threat to the harmony of the public. The court here was justified to embrace the demonstration as constitutionally valid even though it is possible there could have been physocoligical harm if such a march was initiated, but the constitution states that peaceful assemblies cannot be oppressed by the government.
In Schenk v. United State- the socialist party directed under Schenk printed 15,000 leaflets which were designated to men who have been drafted and consisted of intimidating draftees to oppose the conscription acts. Authority arrested and charged him with the desire to conspire and promote revolt in the United States Army. The court held that Schenk's speech is not protected by the 1st since the statements in the leaflets are of "evil" nature and "form". Such words/statements are a clear and present danger to the foundations of both the state and the institutions of democracy. In my perspective, the court did rule in a justified manner since this was a time of war and consisted of disrupting the foundations of the army, hence national U'S security and welfare was at risk. His actions though a form of expression/speech were targeted to deprive congress of it's authority and it created a possibility of a loss in the war. However his actions and the leaflets were not directly initiated actions, mere expressions in form of suggestion to cancel a conscription act which was seen as an "evil" of society.
I do think that freedom of speech is properly applied in our country. While it's not completely protected, I believe that it is as protected as possible. In the case Virginia v. Black, Mr. Barry Black was convicted of violating a Virginia statute that banned burning crosses if done as an act of intimidation. The Court ruled that Mr. Black was not guilty, and his free speech was protected. I agree with the Court's decision because, like Paula said, it should be okay for people to burn a cross as long as they are not using it as a threat or a tool to intimidate. In the case of NY Times V. the United States Government, the NY Times published the pentagon papers. These papers revealed military strategies of the U.S. in the Vietnam War. The court ruled in favor of the NY Times. Like Sara said, this decision showed that it is very difficult for the government to censor, because our free speech is protected by the First Amendment. In Skokie vs. The Nationalist Socialist Party, a group of Nazis held a movement in an area where a lot of Jewish people lived. The Court allowed the movement, because their free speech was protected. While this was a very difficult decision for the Court to make, they did what they had to do in order to follow the Constitution. In all, our free speech is as protected as it possibly can be in this country. I believe that our government does a good job at staying true to the Constitution and the rights of Americans.
In my opinion, freedom of speech is properly applied. I agree with Susan that the Supreme Court cannot choose which cases to grant freedom of speech, therefore, to the best of their ability, they set limits when it was necessary.
However, I also agree with Raye that these court decisions may be peculiar. For instance, I believe that in the Schenk v. United States case, Schenk may not have meant harm to the government through the printed pamphlets. But, I can see how it can be some sort of threat to the peace during wartime because it stirred up conspiracy between the press and politicians.
Also, in the Socialist Party v. Skokie case, I believe that the neo-Nazis presented great intimidation to the Jews. Clearly, from the outcome of World War II, it is obvious that the Nazis have extreme hatred towards the Jewish people and would love to harm them in anyway possible, as history can display this. However, there is no exact proof that they were harming the Jews with their protests. Therefore, it makes sense that the Supreme Court upheld the freedom of speech for the Nazis.
In the Virginia v. Black case, I also believe that Black and his Ku Klux Klan members had every intention of harming the people of Virginia. The Ku Klux Klan is known for hurting innocent people that may be of a different religion or even of a different race, (the reconstruction time period of America showed us this as the KKK lynched innocent blacks in order to stop them from voting). However, since there was once again no proof of their harm to people in this case, the Supreme Court protected their rights to freedom of speech.
As a result, even if I disagree with some of the decisions morally, I do believe that they prevented our rights from being extremely limited today and set protection for us through the many precedents we have to look back on.
The Freedom of Speech's use in society can be either used or abused. It is an extremely valuable right, and the Supreme court definitely applies it right in cases, but some people take advantage of it all while falling under the appropriate application. Free speech, as in just speech, should be allowed in all settings (as long as it isn't being disruptive) but usually it's speech-plus and symbolic speech that gets abused.
In the case of Skokie vs Illinois, Neo-Nazis wanted to parade through a holocaust-heavy Illinois town. The town argued it would make for a intimidating atmosphere and didn't want it. The Nazis said they had the right to peaceably march through town and voice their opinion. The Supreme Court agreed, because free speech applies to things that others may find offensive, as long as no harm would come of it.
In Black vs Virginia, it was of the same idea. KKK members wanted to burn crosses, as symbolic speech could be applied. Virginia argued that this violated law, not of plain cross burning but that of with intent of intimidating others. Virginia couldnt prove the intimidation, though that was obviously their intent.
However in the case of NY Times, they used their rights to expose the government and defy censorship and help educate the people- the government could not prove the damage they did to them by releasing the Pentagon Papers. So the Freedom of Speech can be applied both ways.
I believe the freedom of speech is properly applied as it can be seen from a few cases. In the Case of Schenk vs the US, the freedom of speech was limited for an important reason. Schenk sent out leaflets which criticized the Gov't and protested against the draft while the U.S was at war. Not only did he do that, he also violated the Espionage act. The case established the idea that words that are clear and present danger can't be said. In the case of New york times vs the Gov't, the court ruled in favor of New york. The Gov't couldn't present a robust argument that showed the NY time's news presented a threat to national security. The Gov't used prior restraint, which was establish in this case, but failed to do so. In the case of Skokie vs. The Nationalist Socialist Party, Nazis wanted to celebrate their beliefs in an area filled with holocaust survivors. The Supreme court allowed the Nazis to revere their beliefs since it was peaceful parade and there was no intent for harm. Clearly, the Supreme court applied the freedom of speech in certain circumstances in these few cases. In the case of Schenk vs US there was a clear abuse of speech because of the potential domestic uprisings whereas in the other 2 cases mentioned above speech wasn't abused since it didn't have a severe impact that would dramatically affect the country as a whole.
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