2 What does it mean? The right to express information and ideas Protects all forms of communication including symbolic speechProtects ideas that may be unpopular or different from the majorityIncludes the right to hear, see, read, and be exposed to different points of view
3 The importance of Freedom of Speech Enables people to obtain information from a variety of sources“marketplace of ideas”Enables truth to emerge from diverse opinions“safety valve”Protects everyone – including those that criticize the governmentCourts must balance the need for peace and public order against the fundamental right to express one’s views
4 Things to think about…Can you think of any public statements or expressions of public opinion that made you angry?How did you feel about protecting the speaker’s right to freedom of expression?What is the value of hearing opinions you dislike?What is the danger of suppressing unpopular thought?
5 Things to think about…A Supreme Court justice once wrote that the most important value of free expression is “not free thought for those who agree with us, but freedom for the thought we hate.”What did the justice mean by this?Do you agree or disagree?Discuss a relevant example.
6 Prohibitions on the First Amendment I. ObscenityHow does one define “obscenity”?Gov’t can prohibit the distribution of obscene materialLaws regarding access cannot be overinclusive
7 Prohibitions on the First Amendment I. ObscenityMiller v. California (1973)Three part testWould the average person applying contemporary community standards find that the material, taken as a whole, appeals to prurient interestDoes the work depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically outlawed by applicable state law?Does the work, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific way?
8 Prohibitions on the First Amendment I. ObscenitySome communities have:tried to ban all pornographic works that degrade or depict sexual violence against womenUsed zoning lawsOutlawed child pornographyProblem (pg. 450)
9 Prohibitions on the First Amendment Problem (pg. 448)Should the government be allowed to censor books, movies, the Internet or magazines? Is so, under what circumstances, and why?Who should decide if a book or movie is obscene? What definition should be used?Do you think books and movies that depict nude women and emphasize sex encourage violence against women? Should they be banned? Explain your answer.Assume that filtering software is installed on the computers in your town’s public school library. The software blocks pornographic sites, but some historical and religious sites are also blocked. Is the use of this software a violation of the First Amendment? Explain.Is there a problem with indecent material on the Internet? If so, what should be done about it?
10 Prohibitions on the First Amendment II. DefamationA false expression about a person that damages that person’s reputation.SlanderLibelNo First Amendment protection.Less protection for public officials and celebrities.Problem 37.3 (pg. 449)“Reckless disregard for the truth”
11 Prohibitions on the First Amendment III. Commercial SpeechAdvertisingReceives some First Amendment protectionGovernments can ban commercial speech that is false or misleading or that provides information about illegal products
12 Prohibitions on the First Amendment III. Commercial SpeechExamples of false or deceptive advertising:Listerine was once marketed as a cure all.Magnetic braceletsCredit repair servicesLose 20 lbs. in one week! Get ripped in 90 days!“Froot Loops” and “Crunchberries”Energy DrinksHerbal MedicinesRogaineAnything “Anti-bacterial”
13 Protecting the Speaker I. Fighting WordsWords spoken face-to-face that are likely to cause an imminent breach of the peace between the speaker and the listener.Rarely used todayII. Clear and Present DangerPrior to the 1950sWhen a danger of unlawful action existedNo time specified
14 Protecting the Speaker III. Incitement TestGovernment can punish the speaker if it is directed toward inciting, or producing immediate lawless action.Must happen within a “short period of time”
15 Protecting the Speaker IV. Hate SpeechSpeech motivated by bigotry and racism (and now also sexual orientation)Those who support punishment:Emotional and psychological damageHate speech amounts to “fighting words”Those who oppose punishmentRules are vague and difficult to enforce fairlyPuts the gov’t in the censorship businessResult has been state laws providing enhanced punishmentThe case of… (pg. 461)
16 Protecting the Speaker V. Time, Place, and Manner RestrictionsReasonable regulationsPermitsSoundPublic propertyPublic vs. Non-public ForumProblem 37.8 : Content vs. TPM (pg. 457)Content Neutral“You be the Judge” ActivityThe Case Of…The Nazis in Skokie (pg. 456)