Speaker, Thomas Jefferson once stated, "A democracy cannot be both ignorant and free.
Constitutionsays that "Congress shall make no law It is closely linked to freedom of the press because this freedom includes both the right to speak and the right to be heard.
In the United States, both the freedom of speech and freedom of press are commonly called freedom of expression. Freedom of Speech Why is freedom of speech so solidly entrenched in our constitutional law, and why is it so widely embraced by the general public?
Over the years many philosophers, historians, legal scholars and judges have offered theoretical justifications for strong protection of freedom of speech, and in these justifications we may also find explanatory clues. The First Amendment's protection of speech and expression is central to the concept of American political system.
There is a direct link between freedom of speech and vibrant democracy. Free speech is an indispensable tool of self-governance in a democratic society. It enables people to obtain information from a diversity of sources, make decisions, and communicate those decisions to the government.
Beyond the political purpose of free speech, the First Amendment provides American people with a "marketplace of ideas. Concurring in Whitney v. CaliforniaJustice Louis Brandeis wrote that "freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth.
It is through talking that we encourage consensus, that we form a collective will.
Whether the answers we reach are wise or foolish, free speech helps us ensure that the answers usually conform to what most people think.
Americans who are optimists and optimism is a quintessentially American characteristic additionally believe that, over the long run, free speech actually improves our political decision-making. Just as Americans generally believe in free markets in economic matters, they generally believe in free markets when it comes to ideas, and this includes politics.
In the long run the best test of intelligent political policy is its power to gain acceptance at the ballot box. On an individual level, speech is a means of participation, the vehicle through which individuals debate the issues of the day, cast their votes, and actively join in the processes of decision-making that shape the polity.
Freedom of speech is also an essential contributor to the American belief in government confined by a system of checks and balances, operating as a restraint on tyranny, corruption and ineptitude. But the United States was founded on the more cantankerous revolutionary principles of John Locke, who taught that under the social compact sovereignty always rests with the people, who never surrender their natural right to protest, or even revolt, when the state exceeds the limits of legitimate authority.
Speech is thus a means of "people-power," through which the people may ferret out corruption and discourage tyrannical excesses. Counter-intuitively, influential American voices have also often argued that robust protection of freedom of speech, including speech advocating crime and revolution, actually works to make the country more stable, increasing rather than decreasing our ability to maintain law and order.
Again the words of Justice Brandeis in Whitney v. California are especially resonant, with his admonition that the framers of the Constitution "knew that order cannot be secured merely through fear of punishment for its infraction; that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government; that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones.
In America we have come to accept the wisdom that openness fosters resiliency, that peaceful protest displaces more violence than it triggers, and that free debate dissipates more hate than it stirs.
The link between speech and democracy certainly provides some explanation for the American veneration of free speech, but not an entirely satisfying or complete one.
For there are many flourishing democracies in the world, but few of them have adopted either the constitutional law or the cultural traditions that support free speech as expansively as America does. Moreover, much of the vast protection we provide to expression in America seems to bear no obvious connection to politics or the democratic process at all.
Additional explanation is required. Probably the most celebrated attempt at explanation is the "marketplace of ideas" metaphor, a notion that is most famously associated with Holmes' great dissent in Abrams, in which he argued that "the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market.
That would be asking too much. It merely posits that free trade in ideas is the best test of truth, in much the same way that those who believe in laissez-faire economic theory argue that over the long haul free economic markets are superior to command-and-control economies.
The American love of the marketplace of ideas metaphor stems in no small part from our irrepressible national optimism, the American "constitutional faith" that, given long enough, good will conquer evil.
Just as we often have nothing to fear but fear, hope is often our best hope. Humanity may be fallible, and truth illusive, but the hope of humanity lies in its faith in progress. The marketplace metaphor reminds us to take the long view.
Americans like to believe, and largely do believe, that truth has a stubborn and incorrigible persistence. Cut down again and again, truth will still not be extinguished. Truth will out, it will be rediscovered and rejuvenated.
The connection of freedom of speech to self-governance and the appeal of the marketplace of ideas metaphor still, however, do not tell it all. Freedom of speech is linked not merely to such grandiose ends as the service of the democracy or the search for truth. Freedom of speech has value on a more personal and individual level.
Freedom of speech is part of the human personality itself, a value intimately intertwined with human autonomy and dignity. In the words of Justice Thurgood Marshall in the case Procunier v.
Martinez, "The First Amendment serves not only the needs of the polity but also those of the human spirit — a spirit that demands self-expression.The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution prevents Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or to petition for a governmental redress of grievances.
Feb 28, · The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the rights of individuals to freedom of religion, speech, press, petition, and assembly.
Some scholars group several of those freedoms under the general term “freedom of expression.”. Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression; Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms and such Meeting shall (be on the first Monday in December,) (The preceding words in parentheses were superseded by the or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND FREEDOM OF PRESS. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, says that "Congress shall make no yunusemremert.coming (limiting) the freedom of speech, or of the press "Freedom of speech is the liberty to speak openly without fear of government restraint. It is closely linked to freedom of the press because this freedom includes both the right to speak and the .
This case, decided a week after Schenck, also upholds the "constitutionality" of the Espionage Act of Judge Holmes: [T]he First Amendment while prohibiting legislation against free speech as such cannot have been, and obviously was not, intended to give immunity for every possible use of .
Before plunging into the details of the proliferating controversies over freedom of expression on the Internet, you need some background information on two topics. The first and more obvious is the Free-Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.