Exam%202 - The rights of a free press Thinking about why we...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The rights of a free press Thinking about why we need a free press And what press freedom means 04/03/2008 13:59:00 The First Amendment Five freedoms: Press, petition, assembly, religion, speech Why do we need the First Amendment? Think beyond the law for now . . . o Why are these rights important? o What are the bases for these rights? Does this cover all opinions? “First Amendment issues are always unpopular. That’s why we need a First  Amendment.” –Floyd Abrams What does he mean by “unpopular?” o Most people believe in the right to free speech, but debate whether it  should cover flag-burning, hard-core rap and heavy-metal lyrics,  tobacco advertising, hate speech, pornography, nude dancing,  solicitation, etc., etc. A quick timeline Articles of Confederation o No Bill of Rights; relied on state constitutions Constitutional convention, 1787 o Discussion of a Bill of Rights U.S. Constitution, 1789 o Ratified without a Bill of Rights, but with promises Bill of Rights, 1791 o No particular order Applied to the states, 1925
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
o Gitlow v. New York—fundamental  rights What does “congress shall make  no  law” mean? Is it absolute? When is it not? o Sometimes press/speech rights yield to other rights Example: Fair trial rights vs. Press rights o Other exceptions and limitations Obscenity, libel BUT political speech protected all the time. Why “no laws”? Codify that the national government could not punish specific utterances  against those in power. The primary purpose of the First Amendment guarantee was “to create a  fourth institution outside the government as an additional check on the three  official branches.” Justice Potter Stewart, 1974 Why “no laws”? Condemn English practice of “prior restraint. “The liberty of the press is indeed essential to the nature of a free state; but  this consists in laying no previous restraints upon publications, and not in  freedom from censure for criminal matter when published.” Sir William Blackstone, 1765 Why “no laws”? To move beyond prior restraint and toward expanding press freedom, almost  to the absolute level. “To the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for  all the triumphs which have been gained by reason of humanity, over error  and oppression.” James Madison, 1799
Background image of page 2
Speech and  the press What’s the difference? Are the protections different?
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 20

Exam%202 - The rights of a free press Thinking about why we...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online