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First Amendment


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First Amendment Essay, Research Paper

Applying contemporary community standards as to material being termed obscene is not enough. The Supreme Court should narrow their decision beyond the 1987 Miller Vs. California re-hearing so as to protect society.

The First Amendment protects American s freedom of speech. To what extent does this Amendment protect individuals? I feel that the protection should be unconditional according to the ruling of Justice Wendell Holmes. His ruling states that freedom of speech is protected unless it causes a clear and present danger. I do not feel the PMRC, the FCC and any reactionary players should try to control what is said. The First Amendment was created in order to allow people to think freely. Our founding fathers made it clear that America would be a Liberal Society, where people could say and think what they please.

Advocates of the statement are quick to say that hearing certain things harm the youth of American society. However, the government should not have to teach American children morals. People such as Howard Stern, who purposely push the limits of The First Amendment are the problem. Howard Stern would not have a job or the audience he has if people simply turned off their radios and refused to listen.

In 1973, the Miller vs. California court cause dubbed obscenity as any material that lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. Yet in recent years, many people have been attacking certain artists in the music industry. It is obvious that any type of music holds artistic value. For example, Marilyn Manson for his non-christian beliefs and affect of his lyrics has on his adolescent listeners. Certain communities want Manson s albums and tours banned. The injustice happens in the many parts of the country it should not.

Another problem that people have is cursing in school. Does the First Amendment protect foul language? The First Amendment protects all speech unless it shows clear and present danger. It is doubtful that teenagers who use foul words cause such a situation. Cursing is used simply because of a loss of words, or to express certain feelings. The idea of swearing has been around for centuries though, and it is impossible to stop it.

Pornography, on the other hand, is a large stretch of the First Amendment. It walks a thin line on the freedom of expression. Advocates of adult film industry feel that the First Amendment protects freedom of expression as well as freedom of speech. This is not a valid idea though. Pornography can be seen as obscene depending on who views it. In 1987 court case of Miller vs. California, it was declared that it is not the job of the Supreme Court to decide if things are obscene. Instead, it will be left up to the individual communities. This decision is appropriate because the First Amendment does not protect adult films.

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