First Amendment And Free Speech

1976 words - 8 pages

This paper will examine the first amendment’s right to free speech based on three different Supreme Court cases and how there are varying examples of free speech. In the case of Snyder v. Phelps, Snyder sued Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church, for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy by intrusion upon seclusion, and conspiracy because the church set-up protest outside of his military son’s funeral service (Chen et al., 2010). Another side of free speech involves a case which allow schools to restrict speech that is promoting illegal drug use. To examine this view this paper will look at the case of Morse v. Frederick. Lastly, this paper will look into the case of Texas v. Johnson. At the end of a protesting march Johnson burned an American flag. The research for this paper will allow the reader to examine some of the different ways that free speech can be expressed, to what extent it may or may not be expressed and possibly where free speech may or may not be prohibited.

America is a free a nation with a Bill of Rights that provides every citizen of this country the freedom and protection of the inalienable rights granted to them. However, there are certain actions that have stirred controversy as to how far those protections and freedoms can be stretched. Throughout history there have been numerous cases involving the Bill of Rights and the amount of freedom and or protection granted by each one. The First Amendment, the protection of free speech, has garnered much attention due to the increasingly negative and violent expressions America has come to know. The morality and public decency that Americans used to hold dear has been lost. In a world of constant input, Americans have become numb to things innocent in nature with everything from the news to advertising and even cartoons that have continually pushed the boundaries of what is or was socially acceptable and desensitized people to sex, violence, drugs and profanity. So the need for more drastic, shock and awe type actions from people desiring to be heard on any particular matter has been brought to the forefront. This is where the Bill of Rights has drastically come into play. At this point the Supreme Court has to protect the freedoms without stripping Americans of their rights entirely but it also has to protect Americans from those who wish to do harm to others under the protection of freedom of speech or expression. Not only does the First Amendment provide for freedom of speech but also freedom of expression which is as equally controversial. By examining the First Amendment and the protections and exclusions it has provided over the years through three highly controversial cases, it will allow the reader some insight into the difficulties surrounding the protection of free speech. The cases that are to be examined are Snyder v. Phelps, Morse v. Frederick and Texas v. Johnson. All of these cases present a different freedom of...

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