The article “Freedom of Speech” explains if an individual were to use “fighting words” then they are automatically not covered under their First Amendment. The Supreme Court decided in the case Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire that “fighting words” were not constitutional, so they would not be protected under the First Amendment (2). Many people misunderstand that much of their opinions that they speak consists of words that are unclear. More than half of the time the words they use in their statements are considered to be fighting words, for they are rude and ignorant. There is no need for the obscene words that they use to be protected under the First Amendment.
One can intend no offense, and yet offense can be taken. How many people must be offended before it constitutes cultural insensitivity? In a country that will tolerate hate speeches by the Ku Klux Klan in the name of free speech, it is unreasonable to limit the commercial use of free speech because someone might be offended by a commercial. Let the general public determine what is offensive and they will react with disfavor. If the public felt strongly enough to boycott products and services because they were offended by a company's advertising, that company will pull the add.
While in the district court the judges found the statute to foster “excessive entanglement” (Lemon v. Kurtzman). Since this case was so controversial (dealt with the constitution and the infringement upon it) it was deemed worthy of the Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court the statutes were found to be unconstitutional, and violate the establishment clause. Yet, this was not the most important part of the case. From the case the Supreme Court was able to better define the... ... middle of paper ... ...Vitale, and Epperson v. Arkansas.
The logic used by the Court in order to justify their conclusion is fraught with weak reasoning and dangerous interpretations of the Constitution. It violates the precedent set in Miranda and seems tainted with a desire to justify consent searches at any cost. Schneckloth v. Bustamonte is a decidedly pro-order case because it qualifies another excuse police can raise to search a citizen, but it is also dangerous because it shows that the Court is not the unbiased referee between liberty and democracy that it should be.
Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) In Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), the Supreme Court abandoned its previous doctrine for ruling upon an individual’s right to privacy. Written by Justice White, the opinion of the Court in this case focused on the morality of sodomy, particularly sodomy between homosexuals, rather than the constitutional question of privacy. The Court made substantial progress in defining the right to privacy in the preceding years, but the decision in Bowers demonstrated that even the “highest Court in the land” is sometimes unable to look beyond stereotypes and prejudices (Banks, 92). In Bowers, the Court protected a statute which enabled Georgia to prosecute a homosexual for engaging in sodomy in his home. This reflected “the evolution of the Court from a body dedicated to upholding the principals of individual liberty and autonomy, to one entrenched in conservative ideas and tradition” (Banks 85).
In the same way that prejudices of large groups of people are expressed, hate crimes are committed to demonstrate acts of hatred. Most recent are the burning of black churches across the South. A crime of this sort shows hatred against the black race. Sometimes leading to manslaughter, racial tensions are abundant. Furthermore, the burning of crosses or flags are offensive crimes that are committed to show a person's hatred for religion or the government.
The court ruled against Falwell on the libel claim. The lower court found that the ad parody was not reasonably believable. Chief Justice William Rehnquist said the ad was a satire, and to allow a jury to punish satire would be to allow jurors to decide a verdict based on personal taste. In 1988, the case was taken to the Supreme Court where they reversed the emotional distress verdict previously granted to Jerry Falwell. The Supreme Court reversed the verdict because the First and the Fourteenth Amendment prohibit public figures, such as Jerry Falwell, from recovering damages for emotional distress.
The essay “There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It's a Good Thing, Too” by Stanley Fish, contains information about the court case Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire. The court declared in the Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire case that, “some forms of speech are not really speech because their purpose is to incite violence or because they are 'fighting words,' words likely to provoke the average person to retaliation, and thereby cause a breach of peace” (Fish 307) Chaplinsky was a Jehovah's Witness who got into a verbal argument with the town marshal. Chaplinsky was arrested and found guilty for calling the town marshal a “Goddamned racketeer” and a “damned Fascist” (Lakoff 264). In the Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire case, the courts assumption was, “that some words are so very bad that on hearing them, an ordinary person must strike out (as reflexively as, when the doctor taps your knee with a hammer, you have to j... ... middle of paper ... ...ities in life and one of those is to realize when their thoughts and opinions are welcome and when they are not. These same people also know that they have the right to say what they want, they just should also know to have enough respect for the people to whom they are speaking.
As his honorable Justice John Paul Stevens opinion stated, sodomy was condemned as an odious and sinful type of behavior during the formative period of the common law. That condemnation was equally damning for heterosexual and homosexual sodomy. Moreover, it provided no special exemption for married couples. The license to cohabit and to produce legitimate offspring simply did not include any permission to engage in sexual conduct that was considered a “ crime against nature.” One the more prominent features of Bowers v. Hardwick involved the Georgia statute, “the presumed belief of a majority of the electorate in Georgia that homosexual sodomy is immoral and unacceptable.” The Georgia electorate enacted a law that presumably reflects the belief that all sodomy is immoral and unacceptable. Unless the Court is prepared to conclude that such a law is
Scalia makes the Court itself no longer worthy of full respect. The Supreme Court of the United States deserves a measure of respect, regardless of how anyone feels about its position on a specific issue. Voicing an opinion such as Justice Scalia’s, is sincerely poisonous, harmful, and creates mistrust in both the Supreme Court and the government. Justice Scalia’s message is frightening and damaging to Americans and in a way borders treason. Treason is, “the crime of betraying one’s country, especially by overthrowing the government.” In his dissent he says, “A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be