HJohnston- Freedom of Speech-Unit 2

HJohnston- Freedom of Speech-Unit 2 - Running Head LS305...

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Running Head: LS305 UNIT 2 FREEDOME OF SPEECH 1 LS305- Unit 2 Assignment – Freedom of Speech Heather Johnston Kaplan University September 05, 2016
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LS305 UNIT 2 FREEDOM OF SPEECH 2 Freedom of Speech When Thomas Jefferson first introduced the bill that would eventually become the Frist Amendment in the United States Constitution in 1777, it was intended for the State of Virginia. It promoted religious freedom for Virginia. This bill is known as the precursor to the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment. As the bill evolved it came to include other freedoms for the citizens of the United States. Through many amendments to this bill it now includes freedom of religion, freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, the right to assemble peacefully, petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. Our forefathers did not want to place any restraint on the citizens. Although, the First Amendment protects the citizens of the United States, there are exceptions. The exceptions include obscenity, child pornography, fighting words and true threats. Obscenity the one type of speech that the Supreme Court has denied First Amendment protection. In Miller v. California (1973), Miller was convicted of mailed unsolicited sexually explicit material in the state of California. This violated the California Penal code § 311 that states Every person who knowingly: sends or causes to be sent, or brings or causes to be brought, into this state for sale or distribution, or in this state prepares, publishes, prints, exhibits, distributes, or offers to distribute, or has in his possession with intent to distribute or to exhibit or offer to distribute, any obscene matter is guilty of a misdemeanor (Cal. Penal Code §311(West 1961)) and is not protected by the First Amendment under free speech. This case became the precedent for obscenity cases. In order for a court to determine that something is obscene, the Miller test is administered. The Miller test, or the Three Prong Obscenity Test, came from the case Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973). This case held that obscene material is not protected by the First
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LS305 UNIT 2 FREEDOM OF SPEECH 3 Amendment. The three Miller test guidelines are whether the average person would find that the
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