How Far Should the Right to Freedom of Speech Extend

Topics: Human rights, First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Fred Phelps Pages: 2 (625 words) Published: February 20, 2012
How far should the right to Freedom of Speech extend? Are there instances where this right should be limited? Use specific examples in your essay. According to the U.S. Constitution, The First Amendment protects the right to freedom of religion and freedom of expression from government interference. Freedom of expression consists of the rights to freedom of speech, press or assembly. The right to Freedom of speech is about more than citizens utilizing the right to speak freely to their fullest potential; it is about utilizing our rights responsibly. To me Freedom of Speech means having the ability to speak without limitation or censorship by the government, as long as there is no cause of danger to the lives of others. Freedom of speech should be an infinite right; people should have the rights to speak their opinions as long as they are not infringing on the rights and privacy of others. One of the rights declared by the Human Rights Act is that all humans have the right to live without fear or harassment. I believe more Limits on Freedom of speech should be established when harm and violence are being ignited and laws are broken. Chapter 5 discusses fighting words and offensive speech. Barbour& Wright (2011) assert, words that express the purpose to create disturbance and incite violence in the person who hears the speech, is called fighting words and is regulated by the courts. In addition to fighting words, other things that are not protected by the First Amendment are defamation and speech that expresses a genuine threat to the safety of others. I am going to use the example of Snyder v. Phelps- Military funeral protestor case as an instance where Freedom of speech rights should be limited. Matthew Snyder 20 was killed in a tour in Iraq, 2006. Pastor Fred Phelps and several members of Westboro Baptist Church stood protest in front of Snyder's funeral parading around with signs protesting which I believed to be about homosexuality in the military. The...
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