Chapter 2 - Chapter 2 First Amendment Theory of Freedom of...

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Chapter 2 First Amendment Theory of Freedom of Expression Freedom of expression is in large measure a negative freedom—freedom from government interference Communication law: the system by which society determines which expression is protected and which may be punished, when and why. Theory: Set of assumptions, principles, and procedures that categorize knowledge and explain behavior. Schauer’s multiple First Amendments Serves the goal of democratic governance by forbidding government to suppress the political speech of its critics. Search for truth in the “marketplace of ideas”: protects open inquiry into the sciences at academic institutions. Protects individual fulfillment by safeguarding expression in the arts Attainment of Truth Marketplace of ideas: belief that freedom of expression speeds the search for truth In theory, good ideas—political, scientific, and social—will prevail in a free market Licensing: (Milton) bad because it could deprive citizens of knowledge and ideas that could improve their lives. Truth has no chance to prevail without freedom of expression MacKinnon: women are often too poor to buy speech Consolidation of the media restricts the circulation of ideas? Barron: marketplace of ideas means little to minorities, dissidents and fringe groups if they gain access for their ideas in the monopoly daily newspaper found in most American cities. Governance Check on Government Power Press can expose political corruption if it scrutinizes government operations in a system that recognizes First Amendment checking functions of the press Changes with Stability Free expression can act as a safety valve, allowing critics to participate in change rather than seek influence through antisocial acts. Free expression therefore promotes both stability, flexibility, tradition and change Fulfillment Natural law: posited that people are born with fundamental rights of life, liberty, and property, rights that government has a contract with its citizens to protect.
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Bill of Rights: protects the integrity of the individual not only from government suppression of free speech but also from unreasonable searches and forced confessions Shiffrin: 1 st Amendment sponsors individualism, rebelliousness, and antiauthoritarianism Regulating expression Absolutism: 1 st Amendment prevent all government interference with speaking or publishing. 1 st Amendment protects 2 forms of speech absolutely: Speech critical of the government Media may be sued if they defame individuals within government Broadcasters fulfilling equal time requirements mandated by federal communications law Protected from libel suits resulting from those broadcasters Constitutionality of regulations depend on type of expression, who is speaking, and the medium of expression Judicial practices guaranteeing maximum freedom of expression Judicial review
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2008 for the course JRLC 5040 taught by Professor Lee during the Spring '08 term at University of Georgia Athens.

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Chapter 2 - Chapter 2 First Amendment Theory of Freedom of...

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