1/26/2009 PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 2 January 26, 2009 MMC 4200 Professor Sandra Chance Video Break Ohio prisoners have last words that they want to be able to say before they are executed. Ohio law says that they can write their last words before they are executed, but that they could not say them to the families and people who were there to watch the execution. They would say things that were not true, or that was their opinion on their own crime or that were decidedly inflammatory (as in saying that the person they killed deserved it or they would repeated the victims? last words) The question was whether or not their last words were protected under the first amendment, as in under the ?bedrock principle.? ?If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.? Justice William Brennan, Texas v. Johnson Fighting Words ? NOT PROTECTED BY FIRST AMENDMENT Words that ?by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.? Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire Happened in 1942, during World War II. Chaplinsky gets into a fight with someone and calls the police officer who arrests him a ?god damn racketeer and a god damn fascist.? Nowadays you have to be at a political rally and say, ?Let?s storm over to Machen?s office, drag him out and make him change some policy.? If you are encouraging people to incite a riot or to commit some illegal activity. Cohen v. California -court said slogan NOT fighting words - protected comment on unpopular war- no immediate danger of a violent physical reaction Simply wearing the slogan, ?Fuck the draft,? was not inciting anything. Hate Speech ? PROTECTED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT Written or spoken words that insult and degrade groups identified by race, gender, ethnic group, religion or sexual orientation. Most expression of bigotry and prejudice is political speech protected by the First Amendment, according to U.S. Supreme Court. However, when hate speech becomes fighting words, then they lose their First Amendment protection ?String ?em up,? for example is fighting words Video Break ? Hate and the Internet: A Question of Free Speech Keep in mind this is an older video, so multiply the number of hits on the web site by about a million. Should an incitement to hate be protected by the First Amendment? It was designed to protect unpopular speech. Dan Black - 1,000 hits to the page, then to 1,500-2,500 hits as it grew. Former member of the Ku Klux Klan, the site is dedicated to white supremacy, called Stormfront. The lunatic fringe has embraced this technology, says Rabbi Cooper. 300% increase at the time the video was made. Weazenthal Center tracks hate groups Sky Dayton is the chairman of Earthlink, he agrees with the First Amendment, though he may not agree with the ideas. ?All ideas can be taken on their merits? and the best ideas ultimately win.? Anyone with limited resources can reach people and communicate your ideas. If we can change the first amendment to where people won?t get their feelings hurt or feel persecuted or offended, what would we change it? Just be confident in your own beliefs to where you know the other person is wrong but they can just go on believing it Government can stop cutting school budgets, with more education the more civilized people can be Counter the hate speech with your own speech, challenge them and explain and debate them, prove them wrong. Good ideas will ultimately triumph over bad ideas. For the government to censor speech like this, it?s a slippery slope, because who would decide what is offensive or not? The Speaker Who is protected? Adults ? have much broader rights than children, teenagers, and students The right to speak and publish The right to associate Pick who your friends are, join certain clubs, etc. The right to receive information If you are in the business of providing information, the consumers have a right to receive that information The right to solicit funds Charity organizations have a right to ask for money Freedom from compelled speech Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo If your boss decides to run for office, he can?t compel you to vote for him or campaign for him Government Employees
Want to see the other 2 page(s) in Chapter 2 - The First Amendment (Part 4)?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!