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Assignment 6

Please provide full and complete responses to the following questions. Your answers should demonstrate your full knowledge and understanding of the material presented.

1. List and discuss the four basic freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment. Then rank them in order of importance to you—from most important to least important, and explain why you rank them as you do.

2. Should the government tolerate people speaking against or criticizing it? What about protests? Why or why not?

3. In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Texas v. Johnson, (referred to on page 150 of the text) discuss whether you believe Illinois, or any other state, could enforce a law prohibiting flag burning in protest (similar to the act committed by Johnson).

4. Imagine you are an attorney asked to defend nude dancing as an act of expression that should be allowed in a small town bar. What argument would you make to the judge to represent your client’s interests? Include an explanation of how nude dancing could ever be considered “speech” under the First Amendment.

5. After studying the First Amendment, do you believe government has gone too far in prohibiting school prayer, prohibiting nativity scenes at public schools and the like? How do you feel about not permitting Christmas (holiday) trees in public schools or prohibiting Christmas displays in government buildings or parks? If you were the principal of a public (government) elementary school and wanted, of course, to be in compliance with the First Amendment, what would be your decision on whether to allow Christmas terminologies, displays and programs at your school? Be sure your response is based on your studies and not emotion.
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