The Freedom of Speech

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    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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    Update 1: This image was used on the Speak Fearlessly website: Top Ten Speeches List, December 31, 2008.

    Update 2: This image was used on the I’m pissed off and this is cheaper than therapy website: SC Senator Robert Ford Doesn’t Understand The Constitution, February 1, 2009.

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    Meanwhile, in today's news a police officer is offended by somebody's speech . . .

    SD Court Asked Whether Profanity is Disorderly

    By Carson Walker

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Brookings, South Dakota — The South Dakota Supreme Court on Monday heard arguments over whether yelling profanities at a passing police officer is protected speech under the U.S. Constitution.

    Attorneys for Marcus Suhn argued the First and 14th Amendments protected him and a misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction should be overturned. He appealed to the high court after being convicted for a Sept. 2, 2007, exchange with Police Officer David Gibson.

    The Constitution gives Americans to express ideas and opinions freely, Suhn's attorney, Robert Fite said. "That right also gives us the right to criticize our government and its agencies without fear of retribution."

    But Assistant Attorney General Ann Meyer countered that a lower court judge was right in concluding Suhn's exclamations fell under the "fighting words" exception of the First Amendment.

    Meyer also said the disorderly conduct charge was appropriate because Suhn uttered the profanities among a crowd of bar patrons, which created a risk, Meyer said.

    "You've got 100 people coming out of the bars who presumably have been drinking," Meyer said.

    Suhn, 23, and dozens of other patrons were gathered on the sidewalk in downtown Brookings, home of South Dakota State University and its nearly 12,000 students.

    Gibson was on patrol when he saw and heard Suhn let out a string of obscenities that included several derogatory references to police officers.

    Fite described the statement as 16 words amounting to profane criticism toward police. The lawyer, acknowledging the decorum of the court, told justices he would not expound unless they wanted him to read the entire quote.

    Gibson confronted Suhn, but he was ignored until Gibson grabbed Suhn's arm and arrested him for disorderly conduct for the vulgar diatribe.

    Fite argued it was only Suhn's words that prompted the arrest because Suhn had no direct confrontation with the officer, so the fighting words argument doesn't apply.

    "I don't think there's any way Suhn can be convicted for speech only," Fite said.

    Some justices asked the prosecutor whether there would be more arrests for language that has become common.

    "Those particular words during my era, you would get your mouth washed out with soap. Now you hear them on television," said Justice Judith Meierhenry.

    But Meyer argued that it was also the context, not only the words, that violated the law and created the risk.

    "He just let it fly with his profanity towards police officers and the public and everybody's caught up in it and that's unreasonable noise," she said.

    Suhn had been sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $150, plus court fees. His jail sentence was suspended before he served any jail time.

    The high court is meeting this week at South Dakota State University. It's ruling in Suhn's case is expected in several months.

    On the Net:
    www.sdjudicial.com

    Source: Walker, Carson. "SD Court Asked Whether Profanity is Disorderly." The Associated Press. 29 Sep. 2008. <http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gJeY4L4kY4EGPhmaWYefRZC_Z92QD93 GNBC00>

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    seeduser, eastwood2008, and 5 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Mario Lanini 79 months ago | reply

      Creative Photo's
      You are a very good and creative Artist and I really like your Creative Photo.
      After three awards from Creative Photo please post in our MASTER-group!
      This photo was seen in:

      Creative Photo (Post 1 - Comment 1 or more)

    2. Giorgio Dua (fuzzy_l0gik) 79 months ago | reply

      Creative Photo's
      You are a very good and creative Artist and I really like your Creative Photo.
      After three awards from Creative Photo please post in our MASTER-group!
      This photo was seen in:

      Creative Photo (Post 1 - Comment 1 or more)

    3. Jibby! 79 months ago | reply

      I support his right to yell obscenities, but I don't support his social manners. There are better ways to usefully channel one's anger and this, to me, is a waste of energy.

      Great job on the Constitution processing.

    4. “Caveman Chuck” Coker 79 months ago | reply

      > I support his right to yell obscenities, but I don't support his social manners.

      I agree with you 100%! Free speech is one of our most important rights. Unfortunately, a lot of people confuse free speech and making an ass of yourself. They are not synonymous. But if we let the government silence the idiots, you can be sure we'll be next.

      What struck me as being odd in this article was that a case like this made it to the state Supreme Court. I also thought Officer Gibson over-reacted a little bit.

      And thanks for the comment on the Constitution processing.

    5. Pete Zarria 76 months ago | reply

      Super duper. Pretty cool when it happens, ain't it!

    6. “Caveman Chuck” Coker 76 months ago | reply

      Pete Zarria ❄ — Yeah it is!

    7. maulana.fathoni01 12 months ago | reply

      Superr image... The freedom of speech... I love it Pidato bahasa Inggris

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