1st Amendment Rights

Topics: The Star-Spangled Banner, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Democracy Pages: 2 (747 words) Published: January 31, 2013
Thomas RussellPHS/ Sodders
Punishment/ After School20120218

American Rights Punishment Essay

In America, things are done democratically, and the main two mantras of a democratic government are, The People Rule and Majority Rule, Rights to the Minorities. The second is extremely important especially in the United States, with so many people from around the world living here in general peace. It means that the federal government cannot make any laws that would disrespect any minority’s rights such as preventing flag burning or claiming a religion is not a true religion, unless they can be classified as a cult or would cause harm to others. But, nonetheless, the minorities are protected by the very principles of democracy.

Now, do these principles grantee American citizens the right to practice their beliefs without intervention from others? The 1st Amendment gives citizens the rights to freedom of speech, expression, press, and the right to assemble peacefully. However, we are not supposed to offend others or give away national secrets. A recent example of such is the case of the U.S. vs. WikiLeaks which builds on the 1917 Espionage Act. The site posted 2500 pages of national secrets, including Pentagon papers, military secrets, and in depth information of our national government. While there is currently no verdict on the case, all federal employees are blocked from the site, and the Library of Congress refuses to acknowledge it.

Another case to look at is the proposed flag burning amendment, which failed by one vote in 2006. In 1989, the Supreme Court declared that laws preventing flag desecration as a form of protest was unconstitutional; however, it still sparks heated debate to this day. Even foul language can be fined, as disorderly conduct under abusive language under the Texas Penal Code § 42.01.A-1, which qualifies as a misdemeanor. Shouldn’t one claim the 1st Amendment in such cases just as one can claim the same Amendment...
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