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08CivilLibs_bw_ - American Government Lecture 8 Civil...

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American Government Lecture 8 - Civil Liberties Amendments I - X
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II. Freedom of Speech Democracy requires communication of ideas Lasted less than 10 years originally Alien and Sedition Acts of 1791 Still has bounds upon it Can limit the means of speech, but never content “Time, place and manner” Five main areas Political speech Commercial Speech Fighting Words Symbolic Acts Obscenity/Pornography
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1. Political Speech - Near absolute protection Advocating political ideas is protected Advocating illegal action is not Schenk v. US (1919) Espionage Act of 1917 criminalizes war protesting Schenk prints pamphlets urging men to resist the draft, is arrested and convicted SC upholds the conviction citing “evil that Congress can and has an obligation to prevent” Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) Leader of KKK urges whites to fight government protection of minorities “does not permit the States to restrict the advocacy of violence or of law breaking unless it is directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action”
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2. Commercial Speech Advertisements do not have protection Government can regulate False or misleading ads Ads that cause a public danger Tobacco and Alcohol Regulations still can’t be content based Can regulate who ads are aimed at Can’t ban the advertisement of legal products
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3. Fighting Words - Inciteful vs. Expressive Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942) Man arrested for cursing at officer Court upholds, rules such language has no essential part in expressing ideas Inciteful speech not protected Watts v. US (1969) 18 year old protests draft, says: “If they give me a gun, I’m going to use it on LBJ” Arrested and convicted Conviction overturned, law upheld, speech ruled “improbable” Cohen v. California (1971) Cohen shows up in court with a shirt reading, “F*** the Draft”, arrested Court rules that message was merely expressive, “We are captives outside the home and subject to objectionable speech”
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4. Symbolic Acts - Expressive, Not damaging US v. O’Brien (1968) 3 men burn draft cards, arrested Conviction upheld because government had a compelling interest in draft records Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) Students suspended for planning to wear armbands to school Court overturns, saying “teachers and students do not shed their constitutional rights at the school house door”…unless it interferes with the educational process
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4. Symbolic Acts - Flag Burning One of the most contested issues Are some symbols too sacred to be defaced? Texas v. Johnson (1989) Man burns flag outside RNC Arrested for desecration of flag Court overturns, “If there is one bedrock principle, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because it finds the idea offensive or disagreeable” Congress passed federal legislation, overturned by Supreme Court Congress attempts amendment, fails to pass Every year a new amendment is proposed and fails
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5. Obscenity and Pornography
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