The Fundamental Principles Of The Us Constitution

1439 WordsNov 1, 20166 Pages
One of the fundamental principles of the US Constitution is the freedom of speech. Something so ingrained in the country, that it is often an afterthought for many Americans. John Stuart Mill believes that freedom of expression and speech is a necessity for the human race to advance and evolve. Mill’s justification of this absolute freedom come from the understanding that mistakes and choices made by the person leads to progress and the development of your individual self. He also argues that speech must be absolute because the only way harm can truly come about, is through action. Mill’s harm principle states that, the only reason for power to be legitimately exercised over a people is to prevent harm to others. It also sought to limit the actions of a possible tyrannical majority that begins to impose its interests on the public. Mill claims that the only limit that should be placed on expression is if it leads to the harms of others, it is not to be infringed upon if it only harms the individual. James Madison agreed with many of the concepts of Mill’s free speech, but thought a limit on speech was a sign of a breach of power, which was reflected in the drafting of the First Amendment. Recent Supreme Court cases have ruled in favor of limiting certain forms of speech that speaks to a clear and present danger, when words aren’t simply content, but a vehicle for action. Mill argues that the freedom of dissenting speech is just as, if not more important than the popular
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