First Amendment

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First Amendment

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Introduction

According to the first amendment of the constitution of United States of America, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting free exercise or abridging freedom of speech; press the right of people to assemble and to petition the Government to readdress grievances”. It clearly stipulates that an individual right to practice religion is a fundamental right and should not be prohibited. According to the United States Constitution the freedom of speech, right peaceable assembly and freedom of press should not be infringed by religion view point.

During the years that have past there are various cases which the first amendment have been violated or put to test from various states. This cases deal with the infringement of rights and freedoms of individuals. The rights in the first amendment have been valuable to the free society, although they have been limited at some point. This is because when a person or entity takes advantage of this rights and the person is presenting a clear and present danger to the public, they should be limited when they endanger the public. Such a case as:

Stanley vs. Georgia (1969): The accused Stanley and arrested after, authority with warrants searched the home and found with films that were projected or deemed obscene. He was indicted, tried and convicted for obsession of obscene matter and was in violation of Georgia laws. The Supreme Court contended that statutes validity on obscenity is unconstitutional as an allegation was claimed on private possession of obscene matter and no evidence was found to indicate sale or expose or circulate content. Subsequently the first amendment prohibits making private possession of obscene material a crime. The Constitution protects the right to receive information regardless of social worth and free from government intrusions. Another case was one that defined the government’s obligations to respect, maintain and uphold legal rights of citizens in event of arrest.

Brandenburg vs. Ohio (1969): Clarence Brandenburg 1st amendments rights had been violated due to the fact that he had been punished for non criminal expression after his arrest. Clarence was a leader of the KuKlux Klan he was recorded by a Cincinnati news station where his speech had racial slurs and which urged violence against African Americans and Jews. The state must preserve and protect an individual’s human rights and liberties (Olson, 2008). TheSupreme Court ruled in favor of Brandenburg as the Ohio statute undermined the first amendment freedom of speech and expression. The Human rights which include respectful, fair and ethical treatment without violence and harm was the sentiments of the Ku Klux Rally were no immediate danger to the state. The Supreme Court distinguished between implied .............


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