Definitive Claim - Fidati 1 Hannah Fidati Ms. Jennifer...

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Fidati 1 Hannah Fidati Ms. Jennifer Basye English 1102 Definitive Claim 27October 2010 Responsible Free Speech Free Speech is a privilege for all U.S citizens to publicly extend their voice on matters both private and public. The U.S Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Citizens exercise free speech through various acts such as protesting, lobbying, and rallies. Although free speech is a privilege for citizens, it should not be abused in acts of harassment toward hate speech. Offensive slander and callous behavior depict how free speech can be erupted into hate speech. The Westboro Baptist Church illustrates such acts of hate speech by protesting at fallen soldier’s funeral processions. Michael Smerconish argues, “It is a crime to yell ‘Fire!’ in the theater. It should be one to yell ‘fag’ at a fallen soldier's funeral as well” (Smerconish 1). Njeri Rutledge, Assistant Professor of Law at South Texas College of Law, also argues, “The government should not try to silence Westboro’s message, no matter how offensive, but it can impose reasonable time, place, or manner restrictions in order to protect significant or important competing interests” (Rutledge 313). Certain judicial documents mainly Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act (RAFHA) and the Right to Privacy Clause help to
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Fidati 2 establish restrictions in order to counteract hate speech in public protesting. The right to Free
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This note was uploaded on 03/20/2011 for the course ENGL 1112 taught by Professor Mrs.basye during the Spring '11 term at Georgia State University, Atlanta.

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Definitive Claim - Fidati 1 Hannah Fidati Ms. Jennifer...

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