Mass Comm Law (com 403) First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech or the of the press or of the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of their grievances. Parts of the first amendment: Religion clause: no government run religion and no religion run government Free exercise clause: Laws cant single out religions but all general laws apply EX: no animal cruelty Speech Clause: No laws prohibiting speech (or expression) Press clause: No laws limiting the stories that the press reports on Assembly clause: citizens have the right to assemble, march, or rally Petition clause: citizens have the right to petition the government to address issues they have GITLOW VS NEW YORK: New York had a state statute that limited free speech. Judge determined that speech ?Liberty? as defined in the 14th amendment is interchangeable with the first amendment. This lead to the incorporation doctrine. Incorporation doctrine: the first amendment is incorporated into the 14th everything covered under the first is considered to be a fundamental liberty and therefore the meaning of congress (in the 1st amendment) is expanded to mean any government body or agent. Example: There is a borough ordinance that states : no offensive tattoos may be visibly displayed by individuals standing or walking on college ave sidewalks. This law is Unconstitutional due to: the incorporation doctrine Void for vagueness: A law may be declared unconstitutional because of vagueness: when a a normal person of average intelligence could not determine what the limits of the law are (in this case what could be deemed offensive) Why vague laws are bad: - there is to much judicial wiggle room (different judges will have many different views of the laws on a case by case basis) - vague laws lead to self censorship ( you will not do things you would normal due to fear of violating the law) The first amendment is not absolute: Obscene speech, threats, slander and libel are not covered. Conduct may or may not be covered under the first amendment The symbolic speech doctrine: The intent of the conduct is to convey a particular message or meaning. There is a likely hod in those circumstances that some in audience will understand the intended meaning of the conduct (burning a flag at a rally) How to read and understand cases (IRAC) I: Issue- find the legal question in the case R: Rule- find what rules can be applied to resolve the issue (void for vagueness etc) A: Analysis- application of the rules based on the specific facts of the case C: Conclusion- case out come, who won and who lost Defining law and types of law: Law: substitutive rules actioned by government that when broken a remedy or punishment may be enacted Law: procedures or methods o get the case through the court system Law: Social engineering ( laws will change social habits EX click it or ticket) Law: Systemized Predictions the knowledge of laws will help predict consequences to your actions Trials: Bench Trial: just a judge Trial by jury Sources of law: Common law- judge made law that evolves over time (case law, precedent (accept, modify, distinguish or overrule)) Lawrence vs texas- supreme court over ruled precedent and overturned a texas sodomy law Statutory law: law made by legislation (regulatory codes, statutes etc) all criminal laws must be statutory Statutory construction: laws that come from the interpreting the statute Constitutional law: the supreme law of the land (state or federal) States sometimes grant more supreme laws then the federal government EX oregon protects obscene speech whereas the federal constitution does not. Judicial review: is used to overturn statues based on the constitution Equity law: used when damages are not enough- prevents direct and irreversible injury EX(restraining orders, injunctions.) Administrative law: executive branch law (FCC FTC) OVERBREATH DOCTRINE: the law sweeps up a substantial amount of protected and unprotected speech and is therefore null. EX: PA prisions declared all forms of nudity illegal in prison cells. It was overturned to the the over breath doctrine because certain forms of nudity such as a picture of a spouse or of a new born child should be allowed
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