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Freedom of speech

  1. Apr 13, 2004 #1
    Freedom of speech. Must it be complete to exist at all? If it is limited, who has the right to limit it, and why? What if their principles are completely different to mine? What if they abuse their power to limit it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2004 #2
    I hope you realise just how lucky you are to have that amazing list of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. We don't have it here.
  4. Apr 13, 2004 #3


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    We had a test problem in the US last week. Justice Scalia of the Supreme Court gave a speech and the marshals who are assigned to protect him destroyed reporter's tapes of the speech that they were making. After a free-speech hoo hah, Scalia apologized two days later, but he asserted he had a first amendment right to have his speech not copied. The first amendment guarantees freedom of speech (though the courts have held it's not absolute), but this is the first time we've heard somebody say it guarantees a right not to have your words taken down and published.
  5. Apr 13, 2004 #4


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    It's not the first time i've seen this as an issue. I've been to see speakers on different occasions where taping (either video or audio) were not allowed. You were able to take notes if you wished but no taping. You were, of course, allowed to order the tapes that the speaker was marketing $$.
  6. Apr 13, 2004 #5
    Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to say whatever you want, whenever you want.
    Freedom of speech DOES however mean that you can criticize anyone and anything,and the law protects your right to do it.
    It does not give you the right to protest on private property, to disrupt the rest of society at any given time, to ruin private events being held at rented public places, or to incite crimes through hate speech (if your hate speech can be linked strongly enough, then it becomes conspiracy and/or can implicate you in resulting crimes).
  7. Apr 13, 2004 #6
    And if this is in a setting that is paid for by someone besides the tax payer, or in public, then that is their right.
    You are paying admission to the setting they create, and thus the rules in that setting.

    If that person gives that speech in public, or you can get that recording while on public property (legally there), then tough crap for them! Record away!
  8. Apr 13, 2004 #7


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    We've had this discussion before: just like the last time we had it (it hasn't changed) no freedom can ever be absolute. This according to Locke (the first to adequately define modern rights), the US constitution, and the US supreme court.

    No, wait, scratch that: before I give my rebuttal to your argument, you first give your argument. I do remember reading somewhere thats how a debate works...
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2004
  9. Apr 14, 2004 #8
    Must it be complete to exist at all?

    I don't have a good idea of what this means. Honestly unless you are more specific in your questions I cannot give a good response. Your questions are way too broad and open ended to receive adequate responses, especially on a forum.
  10. Apr 15, 2004 #9
    Right, we actually agree on something.

    If a government official rents a hall and gives a private speech, he has the right to his words and control over their use. He has, if nothing else, the right to demand no tape be made...its his house, his rules.

    When a government official is speaking in an official capacity, or in public, he has very few rights, if any.
  11. Apr 15, 2004 #10
    I didn't see anybody mention freedom of the press. The same amendment that guarantees the freedom of speech guarantees the freedom of the press. If somebody said something somewhere, the press has the right to report it. If somebody can hear something in a speech, they have the right to record it for accuracy. And they can publish it. What they don't have the right to do is sell it without the original authors permission. But that's not the case here.

    Scalia was way out of line. The fact that when he apologized he said, "I've learned my lesson," is not a little disturbing. He should have learned constitutional law before sitting on the Supreme court.
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