#1 Can a nation restrict political speech for the interest of national security?03-31-2011, 12:56 PM
For freedom-loving Americans, freedom of speech is one of the most treasured rights guaranteed to us.'
Obviously, there are limits to free speech (shouting Fire in a crowded theater, threatening to harm the president, ect.), but what about when the danger of the speech is political?
If we are in a war, should it be illegal to speak out against the war?
Should it be illegal to condemn our allies or America during peacetime or wartime? Should it be illegal to write a book that portrays America or our allies in a negative light?
If someone were to say (only say, not actually do anything mind you) "I will not participate in Obamacare and if they want to steal my tax money to punish me they can come get it themselves and if they put me in jail so be it because that's what I believe in" - should this person be arrested for speaking about doing something illegal (not complying with the health law or tax law)?
Suppose someone doesn't have any weapons or anything illegal or dangerous like that, but they talk a lot with their friends about a revolution and publically speak out against the president? Should they be arrested, executed, or deported for trying to undermine the United States Government?
Which of these examples should be illegal and prosecuting in the United States of America?
or if none of these, where do you draw the limits of free speech when it comes to issues of loyalty to the nation, and possible subversion or anti-American speech? At what point do they become traitors? At what point should dissent be considered treason?Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
03-31-2011, 12:57 PM
Also I probably shouldn't say "can a nation do X", because history shows that obviously nations can, but can the United States of America do this, and still remain true to it's values and principles?Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
03-31-2011, 02:38 PM
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
There is nothing ambiguous about this.Deplorably Proud To Be An American
03-31-2011, 02:48 PM
You can try using your own words to explain what that amendment means to you. This is what arguments of constituionality are all about, whether specific acts or laws fall within the scope of what the specific amendment says. If there was "nothing ambigious" about it, we wouldn't have any need for the supreme court.
There's nothing in that amendment that says "except in cases of yelling fire in a crowded theater" but we all know that it's established that it doesn't apply there, as well as in other situations.
You know as well as I know that every law is ambiguous around the edges, and has exceptions. I think we can all agree that publically plotting to assissinate a public official is not preotected free speech as well. Clearly there are limits.
My question here is what do you consider the limits to be when the issue is patriotism and national security? Criticizing public policy, criticizing our allies in war, trying to convince people that a law or war is unjust, speaking about wanting to overthrow the government, stuff like that?
Do you think it's constitutional to arrest people for those things?Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
03-31-2011, 03:02 PM
Suspend habeas corpus and get back to me after the war is over.
As far as the 1st Amendment, one of the signitors of the Declaration of Independence, a delegate to the Continental Convention, and Founding Father (he nominated George Washington for president) was probably the one who attacked freedom of speech and the press more than any other in our nation's history.
Although putting Eugene Debs into prison might be considered worse.
03-31-2011, 03:09 PM
How about being sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for making a film about the American Revolution because it portreyed the British in a negative light?
How about a year in prison for a civilian (not yet being drafted) simply stating out loud that he would rather go to jail than fight in a war?Originally Posted by Adam Smith - Wealth of Nations
03-31-2011, 03:51 PMDeplorably Proud To Be An American
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