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Tag Archives: first-amendment
Posted: June 19, 2016 at 2:25 pm
Source: Jim Jesus / YouTube.com
The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
While there have been countless debates, tests and judgments that have defined and re-defined how to interpret this amendment, the current prevailing interpretation and belief in America is that individual gun ownership is a constitutional right. As a result, America has seen a steady and consistent stream of deregulation around gun ownership, even as mass shootings appear to be on the rise. As progressives get increasingly concerned about the gun culture in America, as a tactic, they try to make their case by comparing gun ownership to other safety-related, common-sense laws:
While certainly humorous while making a practical point, this tweet burn completely misses the larger point: people don’t have a constitutional right to buy Sudafed. You simply cannot compare a constitutional right to anything else not on the fundamental rights playing field.
This lack of focus on the constitutional argument is where progressives have lost their way. They have been so focused on the practical utility of public policy that they end up losing the larger fights that define America. Constitutional interpretation lends itself to a more strategic (and philosophical) debate platform than arguing the facts and stats on how laws can and should protect people. Constitutional theory is the debate platform that conservatives have been playing on for decades while progressives get frustrated and lose ground.
The remarkable irony is that the wording and intent within the Second Amendment is actually on progressive’s side. In fact, the Second Amendment is a progressive’s dream: the third word in the amendment is “regulated” for heaven’s sake.
No matter the interpretation of every other word and phrase after the first three words, the entire context of the amendment is that it will be a regulated right. Through this lens, the Second Amendment is barely even comparable to the First Amendment in terms of what rights it enables. There is simply no language in the First Amendment that regulates the right to free speech… and yet we still regulate speech despite the unassailable strength of the the First Amendment constitutional language
The upshot? Even in today’s hardcore gun rights environment and culture, the Constitution itself provides the guidance — and mandate — to not just regulate militia (i.e., groups of people) and arms, but to regulate them well.
How our culture defines “well” can and will certainly evolve over time, but we shouldn’t let gun rights ideologues and arms industry special interests continue to convince the public that they’re the only ones who have the Constitution on their side in this debate.
Yes, current Supreme Court interpretation is that every citizen has the right to bear arms. But it’s also constitutionally mandated that we regulate these armed people (i.e., militia) and their arms well. Seeing as the right to bear arms has been implemented pretty effectively in America, perhaps now it’s time to start implementing regulation well too, as the Constitution also mandates.
Editor’s note: On 6/18, I revised the article to include people (i.e., militia)” as well as arms, because I originally mistakenly linked regulation only to arms, not the people who have the right to own them
Posted: February 22, 2016 at 2:43 am
United States Bill of Rights – Application – Fourth Amendment
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
United States Bill of Rights – Background – The Philadelphia Convention – Background – The Anti-Federalists – Background – The Federalists – Background – Massachusetts compromise – Proposal and ratification – Anticipating amendments – Proposal and ratification – Crafting amendments – Proposal and ratification – Ratification process – Application – Application – First Amendment – Application – Second Amendment – Application – Fourth Amendment – Application – Fifth Amendment – Application – Eighth Amendment – Application – Ninth Amendment – Display and honoring of the Bill of Rights
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Mission: Our mission is to help people learn according to their learning styles. Some people are mainly auditory learner who need to hear the information to easily understand and learn it. Most people have mixed learning styles, these people learn and understand information better when they read AND hear the text simultaneously.
Sources: – Wikipedia CC BY-SA (text) – Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA (image)
Originally posted here:
Fourth Amendment – United States Bill of Rights – YouTube
Posted: February 21, 2016 at 11:41 pm
Defending this fundamental right of free expression is a central theme of The Rutherford Institutes work because we believe that all other liberties spring forth from this right.
The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the opportunity to freely express themselves. This fundamental freedom includes the right to distribute literature and discuss a multitude of viewseven views distasteful to most people. It also protects the right of the people to engage in lawful picketing and the right to peaceably assemble. It is critical that a free society value and honor a free marketplace of ideas, a diversity of opinion, and free expression. Without free expression, no democratic society would be possible.
It is for these reasons that The Rutherford Institute is dedicated to preserving these fundamental rights for all Americans. The Institute responds to hundreds of complaints of free speech violations each year. From environmental activists peaceably protesting on public property to preachers relaying their message in a public forum, The Rutherford Institute believes that all people, regardless of their personal beliefs, are entitled to speak freely.
Free Speech Double Standard: Rutherford Institute Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Declare Unconstitutional Its Own Ban on Expressive Activity on Plaza
First Amendment Victory: Appeals Court Rejects Government Attempt to Deny Trademarks for Names That Might Cause Offense, e.g., ‘The Slants’
Rutherford Responds: City Officials, Police Ask Federal Court to Dismiss First Amendment Lawsuit Over Violation of Street Preachers Free Speech Rights
‘Government Cannot Discriminate Against Offensive Speech’: Rutherford Institute Argues for First Amendment Protection for Redskins’ Name
Federal Appeals Court Refuses to Reconsider Decision Upholding 60-Year-Old Ban on Expressive Activity on U.S. Supreme Court Plaza
The Rutherford Institutes petition for review in Clary v. Virginia DMV
Rutherford Institute Challenges Virginia Over Its Cancellation, Revocation and Recall of License Plates Displaying the Confederate Flag
The Right to Tell the Government to Go to Hell: Free Speech in an Age of Government Bullies, Corporate Censors and Compliant Citizens
Fear of the Walking Dead: The American Police State Takes Aim
Sheep Led to the Slaughter: The Muzzling of Free Speech in America
The Emergence of Orwellian Newspeak and the Death of Free Speech
Free Speech, Facebook and the NSA: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
An Unbearable and Choking Hell: The Loss of Our Freedoms in the Wake of 9/11
Free Speech, RIP: A Relic of the American Past
Voter ID Laws: Silencing the American People
Criminalizing Free Speech: Is This What Democracy Looks Like?
Read more here:
The Rutherford Institute :: Free Speech
Posted: at 11:41 pm
The digital revolution has produced the most diverse, participatory, and amplified communications medium humans have ever had: the Internet. The ACLU believes in an uncensored Internet, a vast free-speech zone deserving at least as much First Amendment protection as that afforded to traditional media such as books, newspapers, and magazines.
The ACLU has been at the forefront of protecting online freedom of expression in its myriad forms. We brought the first case in which the U.S. Supreme Court declared speech on the Internet equally worthy of the First Amendments historical protections. In that case, Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, the Supreme Court held that the government can no more restrict a persons access to words or images on the Internet than it can snatch a book out of someones hands or cover up a nude statue in a museum.
But that principle has not prevented constant new threats to Internet free speech. The ACLU remains vigilant against laws or policies that create new decency restrictions for online content, limit minors access to information, or allow the unmasking of anonymous speakers without careful court scrutiny.
See original here:
Internet Free Speech – American Civil Liberties Union
Posted: January 31, 2016 at 7:44 pm
Each year, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill celebrates First Amendment Day. This campus-wide, daylong event is designedto both celebrate the First Amendment and explore its role in the lives of Carolinastudents. Students and other members of the university community read from banned books,sing controversial music and discuss the publicuniversitys special role as a marketplace of ideas and the need to be tolerant when others exercise their rights. First AmendmentDay is observed during National Banned Books Week.
First Amendment Day is organized by the UNC Center for Media Law and Policy. The UNC Center for Media Law and Policy is a collaboration between the School of Media and Journalism and the School of Law. Generous funding for the days events is provided by Time Warner Cable.
The seventh annual First Amendment Day was held onSeptember 29, 2015.
Be part of the conversation by tweeting with the hashtag #uncfree
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First Amendment Day – UNC Center for Media Law and Policy
Posted: October 26, 2015 at 1:41 am
Warburton writes, “John Stuart Mill was explicit that incitement to violence was the point at which intervention to curb free speech was appropriate. Mere offensiveness wasn’t sufficient grounds for intervention and should not be prevented by law, by threats, or by social pressure.” “A spirit of toleration should not include a prohibition on causing offence.” Times columnist Oliver Kamm agreed, “Free speech does indeed cause hurt – but there is nothing wrong in this.”
As US Justice Brennan said in Texas v. Johnson, which upheld the right of dissenters to burn the US flag as a protest, “If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”
Virtually anything can be seen as offensive, and something that is both true and important is bound to offend somebody.
But in Britain today, it seems that we have the right to have free speech, as long as we don’t use it. So members of the English Defence League are arrested and the group Muslims against Crusades is disbanded for saying things that some find offensive. But it is legitimate, if unjust and idiotic, to call for Sharia law here, and it is also legitimate, and just, to oppose Sharia law.
This government is trying to suppress dissent. It is expanding its police powers to control and limit expression, narrowing our rights of democratic participation.
The meanings of symbols like the poppy are in the realm of opinion and argument, so the state must not impose a politically correct interpretation on us.
See the original post:
Amazon.com: Free Speech: A Very Short Introduction (Very …
Posted: October 19, 2015 at 4:44 am
Text of Amendment: 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 peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Jeff Hunter/The Image Bank/Getty Images Origins of the First Amendment
The founding father most concerned–some might say obsessed–with free speech and free religious exercise was Thomas Jefferson, who had already implemented several similar protections in the constitution of his home state of Virginia. It was Jefferson who ultimately persuaded James Madison to propose the Bill of Rights, and the First Amendment was Jefferson’s top priority.
The first clause in the First Amendment–“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”–is generally referred to as the establishment clause. It is the establishment clause that grants “separation of church and state,” preventing–for example–a government-funded Church of the United States from coming into being. More
The second clause in the First Amendment–“or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”–protects freedom of religion. Religious persecution was for all practical purposes universal during the 18th century, and in the already religiously diverse United States there was immense pressure to guarantee that the U.S. government would not require uniformity of belief.
Congress is also prohibited from passing laws “abridging the freedom of speech.” What free speech means, exactly, has varied from era to era. It is noteworthy that within ten years of the Bill of Rights’ ratification, President John Adams successfully passed an act specifically written to restrict the free speech of supporters of Adams’ political opponent, Thomas Jefferson. More
During the 18th century, pamphleteers such as Thomas Paine were subject to persecution for publishing unpopular opinions. The freedom of press clause makes it clear that the First Amendment is meant to protect not only freedom to speak, but also freedom to publish and distribute speech. More
The “right of the people to peaceably assemble” was frequently violated by the British in the years leading up to the American Revolution, as efforts were made to ensure that radical colonists would not be able to foment a revolutionary movement. The Bill of Rights, written as it was by revolutionaries, was intended to prevent the government from restricting future social movements.
Go here to read the rest:
First Amendment – Text, Origins, and Meaning
Posted: October 3, 2015 at 10:42 pm
A powerful indictment of contemporary attacks on free speech, this book argues for a vigorous First Amendment jurisprudence protecting even offensive types of speech. In recent years, political activists, academics, and legal specialists have attacked traditional notions of free speech protection as they concern hate speech, obscenity, and pornography. They have called for changes in Supreme Court doctrine in defining the First Amendment and have argued that the traditional view of free speech actually creates and perpetuates a society in which the weakwomen, minorities, the poorhave no voice. While recognizing their fears, Nicholas Wolfson argues that it is impossible to separate bad speech from good speech without fatally compromising the uniquely American concept of free speech, and that efforts to modify our concept of free speech for a greater egalitarian good can only result in undue state influence over private speech. In a keenly argued analysis, he finds that, in the end, the preservation of free and vigorous speech requires a strong First Amendment protection for even the most hateful of speech.
Go here to read the rest:
Hate Speech, Sex Speech, Free Speech: Nicholas Wolfson …
Posted: September 18, 2015 at 2:44 pm
Censorship is the suppression of statements or information for ideological reasons. Current examples of censorship include:
Political censorship involves a government preventing information from reaching its citizens. Perhaps the best-known contemporary example of this is China’s censorship of the Google search engine, known as the “Golden Shield Project”, which prevents Google from displaying search results of some human rights websites, websites promoting Tibetan independence, references to the 1989 Tianamen Square protests, and others. A famous example in fiction is George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, in which the main character works as a civil servant in the department responsible for altering or destroying historical information which the government wishes to keep secret. The rationale behind political censorship is that the political party in power can protect itself from revolution if the public is kept uninformed.
The term censorship derives from censor, the title of the Roman official who conducted the census and supervised public morality.
In the United States, the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Broadly speaking, the First Amendment is designed to prevent the government from exercising censorship. However, the government sometimes censors political and religious speech anyway.
More specifically, the government should not exercise “prior restraint.” That is, a citizen should not need advance permission from the government in order to publish something, unless it threatens national security. This does not mean that publication may not have consequences: a citizen can be sued for publishing libel, or incarcerated for disclosing military secrets, but the consequences typically occur after publication, not before.
Censorship is sometimes applied to prohibit obscenity that goes against common standards of public morality; under US law the first amendment does not protect material considered legally obscene. The definition of obscenity has and continues to vary, with the current Supreme Court definition being the Miller test. In practical terms, this allows harmful material such as pornography to be criminalized without violating the First Amendment.
Censorship may also be directed at religious ideas, as in the Saudi Arabian prohibition on preaching Christianity, liberal restrictions on public expressions of religion, or the Roman Catholic Church’s now-recinded Index Librorum Prohibitorum.
Certain language and images that may have been censored in the past are typically common fare in the American media today. On the other hand, while nudity, for example, may be acceptable on mainstream French television, that is much less likely to be accepted in American television and even less acceptable in conservative Muslim countries.
Censorship – Conservapedia