Viewpoint specific- A state-supported university prohibits the formation of a bible group while allowing a broad range of other groups. City government refuses to grant a parade permit to supporter of the militia movement while allowing a similar a parade organized by a veterans’ organization. Viewpoint-specific restrictions on expression are almost always unconstitutional Ex. Tee Shirts at schools and private businesses. NY subway signs 3. The Freedom of the Press, Libel Laws, and Prior Restraints Freedom of the Press -Peter Zenger(1734)- Establish legal principle of truth that would serve as defense to any libel action. Slander-oral statements that harm someone Libel-Printing or disseminating false statements that harm someone.
Libel-Individual only had to prove information was false and suffered economic/lowered reputation in the community. That changed with New York Times v. Sullivan(1964)- A much more stringent test to be met by pubic officials suing for libel: they must prove malice (bad intentions) or reckless disregard for the truth (ignored clear evidence of contrary facts) Richard Jewell in Atlanta and Zimmerman in Florida Libel laws publish after the fact. Prior restraints- government requirement that material be approved by government before it can be published. Very difficult for government to do and in only in the rarest of cases, such as the publication of information about troop movements during wartime has government been able to block the publication of a story Example: Pentagon Papers (1971). Government refused the US government's request to stop the Washington Post and the New York Times from publishing a classified study of US decision making about the Vietnam War. Near v. Minnesota (1931) Freedom of press by press, by rejecting prior restraint on publication. Served as the precedent to a subsequent case New York Times v. US 1971 Recent disclosure on Iraq and Afghanistan information by New York Times has come under critical review by judge. 4. Obscenity and Pornography Miller v. California (1973) the SLAPS test Obscenity and Pornography First Amendment does not allow governments simply to ban all sexually explicit material, but what type of material can be banned “Can't define but know when I can see it” (Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart) Miller v. California (1973)- work taken as a whole would appealed to prurient (lustul) interests (contemporary community standards) Work depicts sexual conduct in a patently offensive way SLAPS- The work taken as a whole lacks “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.” The rise of the Internet as a medium of communication in recent years has caused even more confusion as to what types of obscenity and/or pornography can be regulated. Reno v. ACLU-Invalidated a federal law passed to protect minors from “indecent” and patently offensive” communications on the Internet. Might suppress a large amount of speech that adults have a constitutional right to receive Child orthography receives no first Amendment protection whatsoever under the Constitution 5. Symbolic Speech and the Flag Burning Controversy
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- Fall '17
- Joseph Sekul
- Government, Supreme Court of the United States, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, United States Bill of Rights