First Amendment Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:25:15
1406 words
6 pages
printer Print
essay essay

Category: Constitution

Type of paper: Essay

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Hey! We can write a custom essay for you.

All possible types of assignments. Written by academics

The word privacy is not mentioned in the Constitution, although the Constitution does strongly imply the right to privacy. The right to privacy is evident in the first 10 amendments. The First Amendment protects the right to private individual worship regarding religion. Freedom of speech and freedom of press are also protected in the First Amendment. There have been many cases regarding the First Amendment. Freedom of Religion In Saratoga Springs, N. Y. a kindergarten girl named, Kayla Broadus held two of her classmates hands and recited a prayer.

God is good; God is great, thank you, God, for my food. A teacher reprimanded Kayla, and she was sent to the principal, who sent a letter home to Kaylas parents informing them that she could not pray in school, aloud, or with others. The school was proud of their accomplishment and issued a press release. Kaylas mother brought a lawsuit against the school and won. Kayla was allowed to pray aloud but still could not hold hands with others while praying (Free to Pray, www. free2pray. info). Today, the schools observe a moment of silence, where students can pray. Prayer and the talk of religion may be in the schools as long as it is brought on from the students not the staff.

In Murray v. Curlett, also known as School Prayer 1963, Madalyn Murray OHair, an atheist, filed a suit against a Baltimore school board for allowing prayer in school. The local court as well as the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled to dismiss the petition because neither the first nor the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to stifle all rapport between religion and government. The case was brought before the United States Supreme Court where the previous rulings were overturned and schools were forced to remove both prayers and bible readings. Atheism is recognized by the government as a religion.

Justice Tom Clark wrote about the government needing to stay neutral. Yet by the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Madalyn OHair, an Atheist, they showed favoritism in regards to one religion and failed to stay neutral. Still to this day prayers and bible readings are not allowed in public schools (Exploring Constitutional Conflicts). Freedom of Press In 1987, a group of students filed a lawsuit against their school, Hazelwood East High School. They were suing the school because the school would not allow them to print two articles in the school newspaper.

The school principal found the two articles to be inappropriate for school. One article was about three pregnant students and their experiences. The principal claimed the article was inappropriate because of the references to sexual activity and birth control. The second article was about a student who believed her parents divorce was her fathers fault. The principal believed this article did not give the father a chance to tell his side. In this case the Supreme Court ruled that the school had the right to censor the school newspaper and the students First Amendment rights were not violated.

The school newspaper is not considered a place for public expression, so school officials can regulate what can be printed in the school paper. School papers still have censorship today. (Supreme Court laws. Find Law) In the case of Cox Broadcasting Corporation v. Cohn, the television station broadcasted the name of a seventeen-year old girl who was raped and killed in Georgia. They obtained the information from the public records. Georgia had a privacy statute, which kept the names and identities of rape victims from being publicized in the media.

The court found that the Georgia statute was a violation of the Constitution. Justice White recognized the importance of the freedom of privacy and press but also identified reasons the press could not be restricted. First, citizens use the news media to scrutinize government proceedings. Public has an interest in the issues of crimes and the judiciary process of that crime. Second, in cases which the information is already in the public record, the interests of privacy tend to get pushed aside. Today, victims names are protected if they are minors (The Oyez Project, 2012). Freedom of Speech

In Roth v. United States, Roth used circulars and advertising material to solicit sales. In New York, Roth sold books and published photographs and magazines. He was convicted of violating the federal obscenity statute by mailing obscene circulars and an obscene book. The question was did the federal obscenity statute violate the First Amendment. Congress shall make no law¦. abridging the freedom of speech or of the press. The Supreme Court decided that the First Amendment did not protect obscene material because not every utterance possible has absolute protection from the freedom of expression.

Today there are even more censors on Freedom of Speech (Cline, 2012). The State of Missouri and the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission denied an application by the Ku Klux Klan to participate in the States Adopt-A-Highway program. The Ku Klux Klan filed a suit in court saying that their right to freedom of speech was being violated. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Ku Klux Klan, saying that the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission treated the Ku Klux Klan differently from the start of the process.

This case was an important one because it showed even groups whose views are abhorrent are protected by the Freedom of Speech. Because of this case I believe there have been more restrictions to the Freedom of Speech. There is a censorship of pictures, books, and of speech. Today there is an emphasis on being politically correct (Cline, 2012). There is another case that went to the Supreme Court, which involved Larry Flynt, the owner of Hustler Magazine. In this case, the Supreme Court overturned the courts decision in favor of Jerry Falwell. The Supreme Court said that the ad parody was a caricature, which was not believable.

The Supreme Court found there was no emotional distress caused by Larry Flynt. When comparing these cases, it is hard to figure out what the exact law is when it comes to censorship of speech. In Roth v United States, Roth was considered to have violated the Federal Obscenity Statute. In the cases of State of Missouri v. Ku Klux Klan and Larry Flynt v Jerry Falwell, the Supreme Court said that the lower courts ruling did violate their right to freedom of speech. Even though what they have to say may not be the most popular, they still have the right to say it.

Every case has the right to petition to the Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court decides what cases they will hear. It takes four Justices to agree to grant the petition for the Supreme Court to hear the case. Thousands of cases are sent to the Supreme Court, but only about 100 cases get heard by the Supreme Court. For example, four out of the six cases discussed here went to the Supreme Court. After reading these cases, I think about the First Amendment differently. As for the Freedom of Religion, I never considered Atheism as a religion.

Now that I know it is considered a religion legally which changes my views a little. I understand why it is important to separate church and state. Because of the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech, I do agree that students should be allowed to pray if they desire and speak of religion if they choose to do so as long as they do not force prayer or their personal beliefs on anyone else. In regard to Freedom of Press, it is difficult to say that they can print about one thing but not another. Most of the time I think that if everyone had morals this would not be an issue.

Their morals would stop them from printing things that would harm another person for no reason other than to make a dollar. Because we are speaking of the law and the Constitution, I do have to say that the Press should be able to write about anything happening in the United States or anything that involves the United States. Over the years there have been many cases to protect the Freedom of Speech. Everybody should be allowed to say what is on their mind, even if not everyone agrees with what is being said. I only wish people would think before they spoke.

Warning! This essay is not original. Get 100% unique essay within 45 seconds!


We can write your paper just for 11.99$

i want to copy...

This essay has been submitted by a student and contain not unique content

People also read