Chapter 2, Part I
These pages and questions present issues and terms important throughout the course. Answers due Friday, Aug. 24.
Part I. Write answers to Chapter 2, part I.
1. Is there a "theory" of freedom of expression? Pp. 26-33? Explain. There have been many contributions to First Amendment theory, but there is no one all encompassing theory of freedom of expression. This is because there are so many different media, social conflicts and competing philosophies. 2. List five values served by freedom of expression?
Without a single theory, five values can be contrived from freedom of expression that include: the search for truth, promotion of democratic governance, a check on government abuses, orderly change, and contributions to human fulfillment. 3. Does one need to believe that "truth" will ultimately prevail to justify support for the marketplace of ideas? One does not need to believe that “truth” will ultimately prevail to justify suppose for the marketplace of ideas. Philosopher John Stuart Mill believed that to suppress a false statement results in a loss of a “benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.” He believed that to suppress wrong ideas, as well as the truth, prevented the growth of people when they realize it was a falsehood. 4. Your opinion: Will Congress or the FCC have to impose “net neutrality” on the Internet to preserve a robust marketplace of ideas? I believe that eventually some form of net neutrality will have to be put in place to prevent censorship or any restrictions of content based on person-to-person or amount of money being paid for service. 5. Why is Meiklejohn called an "absolutist?"
Alexander Meiklejohn is often referred to as an absolutist because he believed the speech contributed to the “business of government” should be absolutely protected from government censorship. He also believed that no ideas or relevant information should be kept from the people. 6. Is Blasi's "check on government power" different from the "government" value of freedom of expression? How? It is different in that the “government” value of freedom of expression is described as the freedom of government interference while Blasi wants to protect the media by checking the power of media. 7. Your opinion: Assume Blasi is correct, that the U.S. needs an institutional press to monitor and sometimes challenge a large government. Can the institutional press continue to provide the same check on government power as fragmenting audiences and diminished advertising weakens the institutional press? I think although print media is in a decline that the press will still seek the truth and it will find another means of disseminating the news. The people will still expect the facts in order to discover the truth. 8. Why weren't state and local governments subject to restrictions under the first amendment when the U.S. was founded? Without the Fourteenth Amendment, the First Amendment would only protect citizens from abridgements of free expression by the federal government. The Fourteenth Amendment protects Americans and the media from “state action” abridging free speech. It brought an end to the dual citizenship of pre-civil war Americans, when each citizen had two distinct citizenships, one federal and one state. The Bill of Rights originally barred only congress from passing legislation violating First and other Amendments regarding citizen’s rights. 9. Did freed slaves and other state citizens enjoy freedom of expression immediately after adoption the fourteenth amendment? Briefly explain. The Fourteenth Amendment was supposed to give blacks full citizenship after the civil war, however it was not until the late nineteenth century that the Supreme Court, using the Fourteenth Amendment, began to challenge state laws that violated a citizen’s constitutional rights. In the next century, the Supreme court began to...
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