Homeworks academic service


An argument that the us first amendment hold contradictions within itself

She cites the use of pornography in the classroom as a teaching prop as one example of pervasive sexism in the school. An African-American worker is repeatedly subjected to racist speech when he comes to work.

A noose is hung in his work area. A young secretary's male coworkers place on her desk dozens of drawings depicting a naked woman with exaggerated sexual characteristics, all bearing her initials.

The drawings are titled, "Hot and Horny. The battalion chief's official explanation is that the swastika was a "joke. Local police dismiss the matter as a "prank. In the last decade we have seen an unprecedented increase in hate speech incidents on campuses, in the workplace and on the street.

New hate groups have emerged as old ones have decreased in membership. Hate mongers have begun to run for political office and to garner a larger percentage of the votes than expected. In addition, in recent decades, the debasement of women in pornography magazines and films has increased steadily and become a part of mainstream society. In 1950, there were no newsstand pornography magazines at all.

Currently there are well more than 40. New surveys of hate speech victims and new laboratory research on pornography indicates that the physical, psychological, social and political consequences of hate speech and pornography are severe and long-lasting. Other countries, such as Germany, Canada and France also have experienced similar recent rises in hate propaganda, but these countries have taken swift legal action to criminalize this speech and conduct.

The United States, on the other hand, has been impeded by a tradition of free speech and 1st Amendment absolutism which has, until recently, prevented serious legal discussion of hateful speech and conduct in this country. At the same time, a new generation of scholars, lawyers and activists now question whether we must tolerate all intolerance for the sake of free speech. They argue that 1st Amendment absolutism leads to license, not liberty; that bigoted assault should be punished, not protected; and that the 1st Amendment must be balanced against other constitutional requirements, especially the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law to all citizens.

In the spring of 1993, 57 prominent scholars, lawyers and activists gathered in Chicago for a working conference on the relationship between, on the one hand, harmful speech and, on the other hand, discrimination an argument that the us first amendment hold contradictions within itself violence on the basis of race, sex and sexual preference.

The conference marked the first time critical race theorists, constitutional scholars, feminist legal scholars, sociologists and feminist activists explored common concerns that have become increasingly urgent and intertwined: They noted that there have been a number of ground-breaking legal developments in the United States and Canada concerning the impact of certain types of expression on the status, safety and well-being of women and people of color.

  1. The New York Times publishes an article attacking an animal-rights group, employing in the process all the tools that are standard issue in the media disinformation toolbox.
  2. But surely, many will conclude, the First Amendment does not apply to copyright infringers.
  3. Local police dismiss the matter as a "prank.

These developments in the law are based on an increasingly sophisticated understanding of how particular kinds of expression are in fact "practices" or "conduct" which reinforce long-standing patterns of oppression and discrimination. For example, Canadian human rights scholar Kathleen Mahoney says that we are embarking on a new era in history, an era in which freedom of expression must be reinterpreted to take into account those who have traditionally been shut out of the political process-the poor, the oppressed, the powerless, racial minorities and women.

She argues that when equality rights are taken into consideration, new constitutional interpretations of free speech will inevitably be the result. Today, some of the foremost U.

First Amendment and Religion

They question whether an absolutist interpretation of the 1st Amendment is necessary or constitutional when speaking about hate propaganda and pornography. Cass Sunstein, 1st Amendment scholar at the University of Chicago Law School, notes that in many other instances "pure speech" is not protected by the 1st Amendment if it causes serious harm.

Court Locator

Some of these instances include false advertising, labor speech, conspiracy, unlicensed medical or legal advice, bribes, perjury, threats, child pornography, speech that threatens national security, and libelous or defamatory speech.

There is no reason, Sunstein argues, that some kinds of pornography and some forms of racist speech could not be included in this list of exceptions.

  1. X, a member of this group, feels that this article is heavily biased. Local police dismiss the matter as a "prank.
  2. Other countries, such as Germany, Canada and France also have experienced similar recent rises in hate propaganda, but these countries have taken swift legal action to criminalize this speech and conduct.
  3. The conference marked the first time critical race theorists, constitutional scholars, feminist legal scholars, sociologists and feminist activists explored common concerns that have become increasingly urgent and intertwined. Still, the attorneys for the State of California perceptively noted the main issue, that publishers want to have their cake and eat it too.

Harvard Law School constitutional scholar Frank Michelman argues that continuing 1st Amendment absolutism in the face of harmful speech and conduct has the untenable effect of silencing or weakening the voices of those in society who are already at a social and political disadvantage. He argues that this is an especially dangerous harm that conscientious civil libertarians, who above all value freedom of expression in civic deliberation, cannot ignore. This "shutting up" as Michelman refers to it, is a kind of reverse "chilling effect" far more effective and brutal than the chilling effect of which civil libertarians usually speak.

Because pornographers and hate mongers have had the protection of the 1st Amendment in our culture, their "free speech" rights have inflamed and exploited caste and subordination in our country.

CONSTITUTIONAL CONTRADICTIONS IN FREE SPEECH, EQUALITY

This "speech by which some speakers degrade the speech of others by summoning caste-like perceptions of others-the other-as unworthy to be heard. To his mind, this might require restrictions on hate speech and pornography.

Critical race theorists Mari Matsuda and Charles Lawrence have documented the growing number of hate-speech incidents and hate-speech groups in the United States and called for some kind of government response to protect minorities. Matsuda calls racist speech a "sui generis" category of speech, "presenting an idea so historically untenable, so dangerous and so tied to perpetuation of violence and degradation of the very classes of human beings who are least equipped to respond that it is properly treated as outside the realm of protected discourse.

Similarly, feminist legal scholar Catharine MacKinnon has argued that pornography is not speech, but rather a discriminatory practice that makes women second-class citizens. Such a practice, she believes, should not be protected by the 1st Amendment.

An argument that the us first amendment hold contradictions within itself

Instead, it should be seen as a civil rights issue. She suggests legal action under the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection of the law. Perhaps the debate between civil libertarians and the advocates of equality can be resolved by adopting University of Colorado Law School Professor Richard Delgado's analysis of the problem.

Professor Delgado analyzed the different narratives and a priori assumptions of civil libertarians and scholars advocating hate-speech legislation and pornography legislation. These differences in values and doctrines lead to different and, on first look, competing paradigms. However, he argues that real free speech is dependent upon equality and real equality is dependent upon free speech and suggests that the future of both will depend upon our acceptance of this interdependence.