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Freedom Of Speech Essay, Research Paper

Today people might miss interpret the meaning of Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Speech is defined as the right to express ourselves, our thoughts, our beliefs, our hopes with out getting permission first from some government official and without fearing that we will be put in jail for saying the wrong things. But if you speak out against sensitive issues, you ll be surprised how fast they shut you up. Personally I think Freedom of Speech should be restricted but sometimes the punishments are too harsh.

There was a period between wars where the Supreme Court continued to give great deference to legislature decisions to regulate speech. An example of this is the trial of Gitlow vs. New York in 1925. Benjamin Gitlow was a member of the Left Wing Section of the Socialist s Party. The state statute under review in Gitlow allowed suppression of speech that might lead to produce substantive evil. He was convicted under provisions of New York State s criminal anarchy statutes for his advocacy of the overthrow of the government by force, violence, or unlawful means that are considered unnecessary. The criminal advocacy was demonstrated in two publications. One was entitled The Left Wing Manifesto , and the other was entitled The Revolutionary Stage . After the trial the court asserted that legislation of this kind would be presumed constitutional. Those who challenge those laws would have to demonstrate the excesses of any regulation.

Why would the government need power to control Freedom of Speech? The reason is to keep control in the United States. A person may persuade the army or other branches of the army to strike. We would have a real problem then. Anything could happen where we could need them to fight for the country. Also what of there was complete anarchy and strikes against the government. If this happened the U.S. would fall apart.

Even though there is a need for these laws the punishments for speaking out when you re not supposed to are much too harsh. I read about a man who spoke out against the government during the war and was put in jail for twenty years. Some murders don t even get put away that long. Also there are some extreme high fines that would hurt a person economically that I don t think are fare. I can understand a fine but not to an extent where you ll be bankrupt.

I believe people have the right to express themselves to the government and give ideas but not all things should be expressed to the public. I agree with the restrictions made but the government definitely needs to work on changing the punishments for the people expressing their feelings.


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