US Constitution and Bill of Rights - Questions and Answers

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U.S. Constitution
1. Explain prior restraints, defamation, and sedition of the freedom of freedom of speech and freedom of the press
Freedom of speech in United states are usually protected by the constitution, the only things that are not protected are cases of obscenity, defamation, war words and any form of incitement to start of riots. The other exceptions to the protection of the bill of rights on freedom of speech are harassment, privileged communications, trade secrets and any classified materials belonging to a business establishment or a company (Lieberman, 1999, p. 35). The protections and limitations to freedom of speech also extend to hate speech that is spread through commercial speech. Prior restrain is the point where the government issues a restrain to a speech before it is made. However, the government should be in a position to explain to the Supreme Court the need to restrict such speech. Defamation describes any words used by another party to spread false-hood with an intention of harming their reputation in public. Seduction is a protection act that protects citizens from abusive language that can be used in speeches to cause harm to the public. The Supreme Court needs to have a definite explanation on the need to have restrictions.
2. List and explain three other unprotected forms of speech not included in one’s First Amendment rights. Provide examples of each.
Some of the unprotected forms of speech are political forms of speech that are anonymous in nature, this is evident in the case Talley v. California, 362 U.S. 60 were struck down by the court since it wished to block any form of anonymous pamphlets that were bearing political messages (Lieberman, 1999, p. 36). Another form of unprotected form of speech is campaign financing. There were efforts to make collection of funds unlawful that are intended to be used in a political movement. The supreme court on a case; Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S 1(1976) it was able to overrule a clause that wanted to instill a restriction on how political parties spent their money since it would be a form of restraining political speech (Lieberman, 1999, p. 42). The other form of unprotected freedom of expression is the activities that cause harm to the national flag. It is considered illegal to cause any form of defacing of the national flag. However, in a case; United States v. Eichmann, 496 U.S. 310 (1990) the Supreme Court struck down efforts to denounce burning of a flag citing ambiguity in the constitution on the forms of expression (Lieberman, 1999, p.

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3. Explain the Freedom to Assemble and one restriction that has been placed on this freedom by Supreme Court rulings.
The freedom to assemble also known as freedom of association, gives individuals a right to come together with other individuals and express or promote their common agendas. In addition, the law gives workers a right to form and come together as a group to fight for their welfare. In most cases, the freedom to assembly applies in political world that allows individuals with a common goal to form a political movement (Lieberman, 1999, p. 47). Despite the fact that the constitution did not have a fully expressive stand on the freedom of assembly, Supreme Court ruled that it is important that people come together as a way of communication. The limitations to the freedom have been placed by the Supreme Court. Some of the limitations to the association is that the association should not be race objective. In case of an all whites school, there should not be any restrictions in case a Black-American student intended to join the school (Lieberman, 1999, p. 48).
4. Explain the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause found in the First Amendment and their purposes.
The establishment clause gives direct rules to the congress that it should not make any rules that might restrict establishment of religion. In this regard, the first amendment gives restrictions to the congress that they cannot create a national religion. On the other hand, free exercise clause prohibits formation by the government of any rules that may prohibit exercise of religion on the land (Lieberman, 1999, p. 48). A case that involves the two clauses is the formation of Jehovah’s Witness; since the government cannot issue any restrictions to their doctrines they have to condone their actions but cannot give any restrictions.
5. Explain the term “incorporation” as it applies to the Bill of Rights and provide two examples of rights that have been incorporated.
Incorporation is the way American courts apply some portions of the U.S. bill of rights to all states. Presently, most of the bills of rights are applied to all federal governments and the local governments as well. According to the tenth amendment, there are bills of rights that have been considered under incorporation. Some of the bills are the establishment of religions; presently, it is applied to all states after a case Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947) (Lieberman, 1999, p. 49). Another example is the freedom of speech that has now been incorporated in all states which was incorporated by Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925).

Lieberman, J. (1999). A Practical companion to the constitution. Berkeley, CF: University of California Press.

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