Reply to each post with 125-150 words

Question

  • When does a person’s criticism of the government become unlawful? After reviewing the Tedx Talks video, find a recent example of freedom of speech being tested. Use a past case to analyze how the Supreme Court would decide on the case. Is the decision fair?
  • What are the problems associated with the “clear and present danger test”? How has it been used in the past? Is it still currently used today?

Post 1: In short, our first amendment states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging freedom of speech (uscourts.gov).” We as citizens, have the right not to speak, to engage in symbolic speech, advertise commercial products by professional services, and to use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages. Even though we have these rights, there are limitations to that right. A person’s criticism of the government becomes unlawful when people incite actions that would harm others, burn draft cards as an anti-war protest. A recent example of a supreme court case that challenged these rights was Packingham V. North Carolina. The supreme court ruled N.C. law prohibiting registered sex offenders from accessing social media. The N.C. law violates the first amendment due to the prominence of social media in modern communication. I am in favor of the court ruling. Even though the sex offender committed a horrible crime, we can’t take away their amendment rights. Regardless of what crime someone commits, these rights are a given to the American people.

Post 2: The Supreme Court held in cases that the constitutional guarantee of free speech includes speech that advocates unlawful action.What would not be protected is an intentional effort to incite imminent lawless action which was likely to generate violence such as whipping up a crowd into a rage and directing them to riot.

Questions

Post 1: Clear and present danger was a doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States to determine under what circumstances limits can be placed on First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, or assembly. This test assumes that at some point speech transforms into an act and at that moment the speech becomes punishable. The issue found its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919). It was the court’s first important decision in the area of free speech. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote the opinion of the Court, which sided with the government. Justice Holmes held that Mr. Schenck was not covered by the First Amendment since freedom of speech was not an absolute right.

Post 2: The clear and danger test is a doctrine that was established in 1919 from the case Schenck V. United States. This doctrine was created to determine the first amendment limitations on speech, press, and assembly. With the clear and dangerous doctrine, to determine if the law was unlawful, you’ll have to determine “whether the words are used in such circumstances as to create a clear and present danger” (CRF, 2019). In 1969, the clear and danger test was supplanted by the imminent lawless action test. A problem with the clear and danger test is it is insufficient to protect basic constitutional rights.

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