Free Speech : Freedom Of Speech

1889 Words Jul 25th, 2016 8 Pages
Freedom of Speech
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of speech among other valued standards. The First Amendment states that “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; or the right of the people peaceable to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (U. S. Constitution). What does it mean by “Congress shall make no law…abridging freedom of speech?” The framers of the Constitution held the rights to free speech in such utmost regard that they deliberately chose to make it a First Amendment right.
The First Amendment right to free speech guards the people’s ability to think, express, and communicate their thoughts and ideas in numerous ways such as verbal, written, theatrical, or symbolic. Freedom of Speech protects even the most offensive or unpopular forms of speech but it does not include the right to make or distribute obscene materials, Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957), or to provoke actions that would harm others, Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919).
Freedom of Speech includes but is not limited to the right “not to speak,” specifically, the right not to salute the flag, West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943); the right of students to wear black armbands to school to protest war, Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969); and the right to engage…
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