Freedom of Speech in America
Freedom of speech is the right to articulating one’s ideas and opinions without fearing the government of retaliating, societal sanctioning or censorship. The phrase ‘freedom of expressing’ is synonymously used sometimes but it is including any act of receiving, seeking, and conveying ideas, or information regardless the medium that people are using. The Clause 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is recognizing the freedom of expressing as human right and also the international human rights law is recognizing the freedom of expression as human right. Clause 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is stating that “everyone shall be having the right of holding opinions without any interfering” and “everyone shall be having the right of freedom of expressing; this right shall be including the freedom of seeking, receiving, and imparting ideas of all forms regardless of limit in writing, orally, or in printing in the form of artwork or through any other medium of one’s selection. The description of Clause 19 in the international covenant on civil and political rights is later amending this by stating that the exercise of these rights is carrying ‘exceptional duties and responsibilities’ and may therefore be subjecting to unquestionable restrictions” when required, or respecting the rights or status of others or ‘the protection of national security, or of public health, or of public order. This paper seeks to describe the freedom of speech in America and its impact in the American soil.
History of liberty of Speech and expression
Liberty of speech and expression has a long history that is predating current international human rights mechanism. It is considered that early Athens’ democratic doctrine of free speech may have originated in the late 5th or 6th century BC. The benefits of the Roman republic were including liberty of religion and liberty of speech. The impression of freedom of speech can be established in ancient human rights records. England Bill of rights 1689 was legally establishing the constitutional right of ‘liberty of speech in parliament which it is still affecting. The Declaration of the Rights of Individual and of the native selected during the French Revolt in 1789, specifically was affirming freedom of speech as an absolute right. The Declaration is providing for freedom of expressing in Clause 11, which is stating that, “The free communication of opinions and ideas is one of the most valuable rights of man. Every native may accordingly be speaking, writing, and printing with freedom but shall be accountable for misusing this freedom as the law shall be defining.” In modern times the freedom of speech or the freedom of expression is identified in the international and regional law of human rights. The right is enshrining in article ten of the European Convention on Human Rights, section nine of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, and section 19 of the International Covenant on social and political Right. Basing on John Milton’s explanation, freedom of speech is acknowledged as a multi faceted right that is including not only the right to expressing or disseminating ideas and information but as well the right of seeking, imparting, and receiving information and ideas (Regina, 2012).
Freedom of Speech in America
The First Amendment to the United States constitution, state constitutions and federal laws are strongly protecting the freedom of speech from the restrictions of the government. The Supreme Court of the United States has been recognizing diverse categories of speech that are assigned lesser or no immunity by the First amendment and has been recognizing that governments may be enacting reasonable place, time, and manner of restricting speech. The initial amendment’s constitutional fairness of free speech, which is relevant to local governments and state under the incorporation ideology, is only preventing the restrictions of the government on speech restrictions which business or private individuals are imposing unless operating on behalf of the government. Laws however may be restricting the ability of individuals and private businesses from the restrictions on speech by others, such as employing laws that will restrict employers’ ability of preventing employees from revealing one’s salary with coworkers or attempt of organizing a labor union. The first adjustments’ freedom of speech is not only proscribing the government’s restrictions on the subject of speech and ability of speaking, but also protecting the right of receiving information, prohibiting most government s limitation or burdens that are discriminating between those that are speaking, restricting the tort answerability of individuals undefined speech, and also preventing the government from requiring corporations and individuals to be speaking or financing undefined kinds of speech with which they do not agree (Stein, 2008).
Impact of Freedom of Speech in America
Since the drafting of the Bill of Rights, the principal Amendment has been on a basic level of the American ethics, but President Lee C. Bollinger of Columbia University, is arguing that with new forms of expression and media, how the public is viewing an open press has been transforming, and currently it is meaning much more for American people and others across the world (Rettig, 2010). In his new publication, Unrestrained, Vigorous, and Wide Open: A New Press for A New Century, Bollinger, a foremost researcher of the primary Amendment, is discussing the potential and the challenges that confronts an open press in the worldwide society. He was lately chatting with the U. S. reports about the evolving of the primary Amendment and how to be preserving its safekeeping and expanding them worldwide. As people are acknowledging the First Amendment today, it is just a product of the 20th century. Since the occurrence of pentagon papers, New York Times and others, the primary Amendment has defined the feature of American cultural, social, and political life. Another impact of freedom of speech in America is that, some people are venting their own anger without to feel the self conscious, upset, or nervous without the resort of violence because everyone has the right of saying what they are thinking.
In conclusion, freedom of speech is the right to articulating one’s ideas and opinions without fearing the government of retaliating, societal sanctioning or censorship. Liberty of speech and expression has a long history that is predating current international human rights mechanism. Since the drafting of the Bill of Rights, the principal Amendment has been on a basic level of the American ethics and the best amendment that is proscribing the government’s restrictions on the subject of speech and ability of speaking, receiving, and imparting ideas and information. Freedom of speech however can end up breaking an individual depending on how an individual is using it.
- Regina M. (2012). Truth, Free Speech, and the Legacy of John Milton’s Areopagitica. Northwestern University/ NORTHWESTERN SCHOLARS. Retrieved from https://www.scholars.northwestern.edu/en/publications/truth-free-speech-and-the-legacy-of-john-miltons-areopagitica
- Stein L (2008). Speech Rights in America: The First Amendment, Democracy, and the Media. Urbana, Ill : University of Illinois Press.
- Rettig J. (2010). The Struggle for Free Speech in the 21st Century. Retrieved from https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2010/02/11/the-struggle-for-free-speech-in-the-21st-century