1st Amendt-speech-assembly

1st Amendt-speech-assembly - First Amendment: Freedom of...

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First Amendment: Freedom of Speech & Assembly
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Early History Centuries of censorship; no individual freedom of speech Enlightenment — growing tolerance of free thought and expression – John Milton, Voltaire John Stuart Mill—his essay On Liberty (1859) [Reader, pp. 130-33] need for political dissent
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Free Speech in Early America Regulation of political speech in times of perceived crisis Civil War – 1860s World War I (1917-18) Cold War (1940s-’50s)
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Conflicting Tests for Free Speech Congress passed Espionage Act (1917)– Schenck v. United States (1919) [Reader, pp. 133-135] Defendant attempted to disrupt draft Does Espionage Act violate 1 st Amend.? NO (9-0) Justice Holmes “Clear and Present Danger” test; “question of proximity and degree”
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A Competing Test After WWI, more concern about authoritarian regimes– Russian Revolution Advent of “bad tendency” test Abrams v. United States (1919) Justice Holmes’ dissent: “The best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.”
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World War II and the Aftermath Concern about freedom & stability Several federal laws limited political speech 3. Smith Act (1940) 4. Taft-Hartley Act (1947) 5. McCarran Act (1950) 6. Communist Control Act (1954)
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11 defendants; members of Communist Party; prosecuted under Smith Act Does Act violate 1 st Amendment? NO CJ Vinson for 6-2 Court: “Obvious purpose of the statute is to protect existing Government…from change by violence, revolution, and terrorism.”
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course PSC 2302 taught by Professor Dr.riley during the Spring '08 term at Baylor.

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1st Amendt-speech-assembly - First Amendment: Freedom of...

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