Freedom of Speech
Freedom of Speech is a fundamental right in the United States and is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. In 1925, the U.S.Supreme Court held that ( under the doctrine of incorporation) state legislatures cannot enact laws abriding this freedom. However, freedom of speech is not absolute. Under a long line of cases, the Supreme Court has held that certain types of speech are excluded from protection. Also there are time, manner and place limitations on freedom of speech. While hate speech is generally protected ( see the Westboro Baptist Church decision), speech that would incite actions that would harm others is not ( Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919). There are also restrictions on obscenity and child pornography . Commercial speech can be regulated as can slander. While students are protected by the First Amendment, there are cases where censorship is permitted. The U.S. Supreme Court applies certain standards, tests and levels of review when it decides free speech cases. Over the years, many cases have been decided. Free Speech jurisprudence is complex and at times difficult to understand. It is a rich area of study for anyone interested in constitutional law.
The PCCC Library has a good collection of books dealing with freedom of speech. Generally they can be found under the call number KF 4772. The Library also owns electronic books ("ebooks"). Go to the Library Home page www.pccc.edu/library and search the Library Catalog. Be sure to use the drop down box for PCCC. To access ebooks remotely, use the ID and password you can find on your Portal account ( click on the Academics tab, then online databases) The reference librarians can also be of assistance.