How to write about freedom of speech and censorship

How to write about freedom of speech and censorship

This article is for everyone who is interested in human rights and freedom of speech. We will discuss both popular and non-standard approaches to writing essays on freedom of speech.

  • It is worth remembering in the essay on freedom of speech that before the decision of the US Supreme Court in the case of Gitlow v. New York (1925), information independence was not protected by the US courts as one of the fundamental civil rights. Only after this precedent the appropriate constitutional practice became truly intense in the country.

    One of the fundamental principles of the First Amendment is that the government can’t prohibit the expression of any ideas even if society finds them offensive or unacceptable. This thesis, which was very different from the opinion of Thomas Paine, was later confirmed by one of decisions of Judge A. Goldberg (Cox v. Louisiana). He recognized the right of officials to determine what opinions and views should be allowed or prohibited as unconstitutional.


    However, as the Supreme Court decided in case Schenk v. United States, the nature of any action depends on the circumstances in which it occurs. Therefore, even the strictest protection of freedom of speech does not justify a person who falsely screams “fire” in a crowded theater. Human rights also do not protect citizens from the prohibition to pronounce words that will have the effect of direct use of force.

    As a result, the government was allowed to ban words that clearly provoke a violent conflict and call them without any judicial control. As Judge Frank Murphy stated in case Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1925), referring to epithets and personal insults is not an exchange of information or opinions that is usually subject to constitutional protection. Write about it in why are there laws limiting the freedom of speech essay.

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    On the other hand, considering the case FCC v. Pacifica Foundation (1978), the US Supreme Court stated that content (the context of the conversation) is the most important element of the protection on the basis of the First Amendment. That is, the concept of “obscenity” is largely a function of the context which can’t be adequately assessed only by abstract efforts.

    Information for First Amendment essay papers

    It would not be an exaggeration to say that the entire system of protecting intellectual freedom in the United States is currently based on the normative potential of the First Amendment. If we expand the legal meaning of this concise formula, it becomes evident that the First Amendment prescribes the prohibition of censorship and control over the media by the US government and the authorities of individual states. This circumstance automatically follows from the application of the legal sense of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    At the same time, the First Amendment does not contain a definition of press and does not impose any duties or obligations on rights recorded in it. After all, the US constitutional doctrine does not know the concept of political obligations of the people.

    Judge H. Black wrote that the founding fathers gave the freedom of the press the protection that it must have to fulfill its destiny in democracy. The media should serve managed people but not managers. The government appoints officials, and the media are – agents of the power of the state. The internet is likely to be available to everyone. Either there will be freedom of the press which will allow to tell about the act of courage and the forces that gave it victory.

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    In the formally-logical sense, the First Amendment begins with a general constitutional prohibition imposed on the US Congress as a federal legislative power. Then there are six special prohibitions, among which there is a ban on restricting freedom of speech and press. In general, as stated in the American literature, the single function of all six limitations is to protect the intellectual expression of American citizens against interference by federal authorities.

    According to P. Buchanan, all ideas have the right to be expressed and heard. But there is no conclusion that they will necessarily be listened to. Therefore, the First Amendment requires respecting liars as well as truth lovers, and fools – no less than wise persons. Eventually, societies and peoples develop independently separating the reliable facts from dubious ones, and the abuses of freedom of speech are thus objectively manifested.

    Commenting on the general effect of the American mechanism for protecting human rights in why freedom of speech is important essay, it is worth emphasizing that the legal scope of the First Amendment is now determined by the totality of decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States which used the famous formula during two centuries in a variety of circumstances. That is, the decisions of the US Supreme Court in relation to the protection of human rights are based on the application of a set of special laws regulating the publication, dissemination and receipt of information in the press and other mass media, the protection of the rights of citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures, and restriction of access to certain public services.