Speech : The Freedom Of Speech

1624 Words Nov 1st, 2016 7 Pages
Citizens of the United States are privileged to the freedom of speech under the First Amendment, but the constitutional limits of the freedom of speech have been questioned on multiple occasions. Citizens of the United States have called upon the Supreme Court numerous times to interpret the meaning of the First Amendment, and the court has censored some forms of speech such as obscene speech --which has been prohibited--and indecent or pornographic speech--which has been regulated (Barrett, 1999). Public and private properties, institutions, and businesses started censoring and placing limitations on hate speech in 1980 (Roleff, p.64). Hate speech is defined as speech that attacks a person or a group on the basis of attributes such as gender, ethnic origin, religion, race, disability, or sexual orientation (Barrett, 1999). “ In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group” (Barnes and Ephross, 1994). Several debates have lingered over if certain restrictions on hate speech violate the First Amendment (Simmons, 2012). Hate speech should be regulated and censored by the federal government; however, these regulations and policies will limit an individual 's freedom of speech. Many citizens misinterpret the meaning of the First Amendment. Some citizens think…

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