Freedom Of Speech By John Locke Essay

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Freedom of speech is the right given to all United States citizens to express their opinions openly, without having to fear legal punishment. However, the idea of this freedom goes back far before the United States was even declared an independent country. In the 16th century, European thinkers such as John Locke began to discuss freedom of speech as a basic human right, a necessity for a free and thriving society and a well governed country. In the United States, freedom of speech is split into three categories: fully protected, limited protected, and unprotected speech. Freedom of speech does not exactly mean that one can or do whatever they want at all times, which is why there are these several categories that specify what is protected by the First Amendment, and what is not. A 1969 court decision Tinker vs. Des Moines is a great example of what qualifies as protected speech. On the other side, Chaplinsky vs. New Hampshire in 1942 showed that the Supreme Court has recognized several limited exceptions to First Amendment protection. Freedom of Speech is so very important because if people cannot express themselves, then they can never reach and realize their full potential. Therefore, in my opinion, it is simply immoral to rob people of their right to say what they want to say. Freedom of speech is a part of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which was adopted in 1791, and states that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ....”
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