1791On December 15, Virginia became the 11th state to approve the first 10 amendments, ratifying the Bill of Rights. 1990The U.S. Supreme Court rules in Milkovich v. Lorain Journal that there is no blanket exemption from defamation for all statements that are supposed to be opinions. The Court wrote, “We are not satisfied that, in addition to these guarantees, additional separate constitutional privilege for `opinion` is necessary to guarantee the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.” Among other cherished values, the First Amendment protects free speech. The U.S. Supreme Court often struggles to determine what exactly constitutes protected speech. Below are examples of statements, both direct (words) and symbolic (actions), that the court found to be eligible for First Amendment protection. 1940The court upheld a law on the saluting of the Pennsylvania flag in Minersville School District v.
Gobitis by a vote of 8-1. A family of Jehovah`s Witnesses who had two children in public schools challenged their deportation on First Amendment grounds. “National unity is the foundation of national security,” Judge Felix Frankfurter wrote on behalf of the majority. Only Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone disagreed with the court`s decision, which was overturned three years later in the West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette case. 1957The U.S. Supreme Court declares that “obscenity is not the purview of the constitutionally protected speech or press.” In Roth v. In the United States, the U.S. Supreme Court finds obscenity to be a category of language that is not protected by the First Amendment. In his statement, Judge William Brennan wrote, “Obscene material is material that deals with sex in a manner that appeals to an intrusive interest.” He explains that determining whether the material is obscene should be judged according to “contemporary community standards.” Public universities, such as the KSU, are required to follow the First Amendment, which means that the KSU has a very limited ability to restrict language. In 2018, the General Assembly of Georgia passed Senate Bill 339.
In addition to the First Amendment, this law requires the KSU, as a public university in Georgia, to ensure that freedom of expression is protected for all people at the KSU. KSU cannot legally protect students, staff, faculty, or other members of the KSU community from First Amendment-protected statements, including ideas and opinions that individuals may find hostile, unpleasant, or even hateful. Yes. Some types of speech, such as perjury, extortion, and child pornography, are not protected by the First Amendment. Other examples of unprotected language include: 1952In Burstyn v. Wilson, the U.S. Supreme Court concludes for the first time that films fall under the First Amendment guarantee of free speech and freedom of the press. The court ruled that a New York law that allows the film to be banned on the grounds that they are “outrageous” unconstitutional after the New York State Board of Regents revoked the license of the distributor of the film “The Miracle” to show the film in the state.
1776The House of Burgesses of Virginia adopts the Virginia Bill of Rights. The Virginia Declaration is the first Bill of Rights to be incorporated into a state constitution in America. 1777Thomas Jefferson completes his first draft of a Virginia religious freedom law, which states, “No man shall be compelled to attend or sustain any religious worship, place, or service.” The bill later became Virginia`s famous Ordinance for Religious Freedom. 1942The U.S. Supreme Court finds that “combat words” are not protected by the First Amendment. In Chaplinsky v. In New Hampshire, the Court defines “combat words” as “those which, by their mere expression, cause injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” The Court notes that such words “are not an essential part of a presentation of ideas and have so little social value as a step towards the truth that any benefit that can be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in matters of order and morality”. 1931In Stromberg v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the conviction of Yetta Stromberg, a 19-year-old member of the Young Communist League, who violated a state law prohibiting the display of a red flag as a “symbol of opposition to the U.S. government.” Legal commentators cite this case as the first in which the Court recognizes that protected speech can be non-verbal or a form of symbolic expression. 4.
Are there types of speech that are not protected by the First Amendment? 1936In Grosjean v. American Press Co. The U.S. Supreme Court invalidates a state tax on newspaper advertising levied on newspapers with a circulation of more than 20,000 copies per week as a violation of the First Amendment. The court found the tax unconstitutional because it “is considered an intentional and calculated means under the guise of a tax to restrict the dissemination of information to which the public is entitled under constitutional guarantees.” 1991The U.S. Supreme Court in Rust v. Sullivan maintains a federal program that prevents those who receive federal funding for reproductive health services from discussing abortion as a method of family planning. The Court stated: “Without violating the Constitution, the government may selectively fund a program to promote certain activities that it considers to be in the public interest without simultaneously funding an alternative program that seeks to solve the problem in a different way.” 1987The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a Missouri order restricting the mailing of inmates while repealing an order prohibiting inmates from marrying. In Turner v.
Safley, the court sets the following standard in inmate cases: “If a prison order affects the constitutional rights of inmates, the order is valid if it is reasonably related to legitimate criminal interests.” 1969In Brandenburg v. Ohio, a leader of a Ku Klux Klan group, is sentenced under Ohio law and sentenced to prison terms, largely based on a speech he gave at a Klan rally. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rules that statements advocating the use of force or crime are not protected if (1) the advocacy group is “directed to incite or produce imminent unlawful acts,” and (2) the advocacy group is also “likely to incite or induce such acts.” Hate speech in itself does not violate the KSU Non-Discrimination Directive. However, if such speech goes beyond words and involves threats, targeted harassment, discrimination, or violence, such conduct is not protected by the First Amendment and may violate KSU`s non-discrimination policy. To determine whether such behavior is protected, KSU administrators should check on a case-by-case basis. Incitement. The First Amendment does not give anyone the right to incite actions that would harm others or cause people to break the law, including acts of violence. To be considered incitement, the Supreme Court stated that there must be a significant likelihood of imminent illegal activity and that the speech must be aimed at provoking imminent illegal activities.
For example, the First Amendment would not protect a speaker on campus who asks the audience to engage in vandalism or destruction of campus property after the event if there is a significant likelihood that such statements will cause viewers to follow the guidelines. 1998The Online Child Protection Act (COPA), which links federal criminal liability to the online transfer of material for commercial purposes considered harmful to young people, is enacted by Congress. The Constitution prohibits the CPSU, as a public institution, from prohibiting or punishing statements based on their content or position, however repugnant they may be. KSU also cannot exclude speakers from campus simply because the speaker may make statements that offend a particular group or individuals. Similarly, KSU will cancel incorrectly recorded events simply because members of the KSU community may have had strong concerns about a spokesperson`s point of view, no matter how legitimate they may be. .