What do you think are the most important provisions in the U.S. Bill of Rights? As far as I’m concerned, the first important provision in the U.S. Bill of Rights is freedom of expression. A democracy depends on the free expression of ideas; totalitarian governments know this, which is why they go to the enormous trouble to limit expression. Americans pride themselves on their free and open society, freedom of conscience is absolute; American can believe whatever they want. The one thing all freedom of expression cases have in common is the question of whether a certain expression receives the protection of the Constitution. The second important provision in the U.S. Bill of Rights is libel and slander. Public figures have to prove to a jury, in effect, that whoever wrote or said untrue statement about them knew that the statements were untrue and intended harm. This standard makes libel cases difficult for public figures to win because it is difficult to prove that a publication was intentionally malicious. The last important provision in the U.S. Bill of Rights is free press and fair trails. The Bill of Rights is an inexhaustible source of potential conflicts among different types of freedoms. One is the conflict between the right of the press to print what is wants and the right to a fair trail. In addition to arguing that the public has a right to know, some journalists hope to capitalize on their coverage of lurid crime stories to sell newspaper, gain ratings, or attract advertisers.
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