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Freedom of Speech

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Our forefathers worked to ensure we could enjoy civil liberties that they were unable to under British rule. In the First Amendments one of the liberties detailed is freedom of speech, specifically in that Congress will not enact a law that is “abridging the freedom of speech.” In 1925 the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment applies to each state ensuring that the constitutional right to free speech is protected from interference by the government. Freedom of speech can only be upheld so long as the content of which does not violate the law.
In 2002 a high school senior, Joseph Frederick, revealed a banner for the Olympic Torch Relay while it was in town on it's journey to the winter games. The banner read “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” and immediately attracted the attention of his principal, Deborah Morse. The banner was located off school grounds on a public sidewalk for the event, which was privately sponsored. Morse crumpled the banner up and immediately suspended Frederick for ten days. Frederick filed suit against the school board and Morse for violating his First Amendment rights. The court looked at the legal standards by which public school students are held responsible for as far as speech is concerned. Julie Hilden described the three Supreme Court cases that set the standards and their relevance to this event. “One of the cases...doesn't apply because neither Frederick's banner (nor the rally itself) was school-sponsored” (Hilden 676). Hilden dismisses the second case as it deals with the use of vulgar and obscene language, neither of which was present on the banner. The third point states that speech can only be regulated or punished if “materially disrupts classwork or involves substantial disorder or invasio...


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...YNE - WE BE STEADY MOBBIN'' LYRICS." Lyrics. Web. 06 July 2011. .
McCollum v. Board of Education. 203 333 212. 1948. Print.
Sante Fe Independent School District v. Doe. 290 530. 2000. Print.
"We Are Young Money." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 05 July 2011. .
Wells, Tom. "Brit Ban for Hate Preachers | The Sun |News." The Sun | The Best for News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities | The Sun| The Sun. News Group Newspapers Limited, 18 Feb. 2009. Web. 07 July 2011. .
Westboro Baptist Church Home Page. Web. 07 July 2011. .
"Westboro Baptist Church." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 07 July 2011. .


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