View Poll Results: 1st Amendment Needs Change?

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20. You may not vote on this poll
  • WBC protesters should be in a re-education gulag as we spoeck, learning some fucking manners.

    1 5.00%
  • It was a funeral! That's so outrageous, it should not have been protected.

    0 0%
  • WBC should have been forced by the cops to move 1 mile away. Easy. now everyone's happy.

    1 5.00%
  • WBC is so horrible, who gives a fuck what their rights are?

    0 0%
  • WBC porotesters are Americans, and they had the right to do exactly what they did.

    17 85.00%
  • I hate rude people.

    1 5.00%
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Thread: Do You Think The First Amendment Goes Too Far?

  1. #21
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNVolunteer73 View Post
    I would but the choices (most likely due to character limitations don't fit my whole opinion on free speech)

    I have the right to call a black person the "N" word, I wouldn't because it violates my principles. But if I did I should face the consequences of the act, and not be shocked someone called me out.
    Apologies for the crappy poll.

  2. #22
    Vexatious Correspondent Leo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post

    There's a movement afoot to convince Americans that the First Amendment "goes too far". (Apparently, except when it protects the free expression of bigotry against GLBT people by self-professed "religious" people.

    But I digress......}

    And many highly-respected people NOT on PH, liberals and conservatives, seem to agree.


    The SCOTUS has ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church protesters have a First Amendment right to say what they like at a time and place cruelly calculated to inflict terrible emotional pain on that soldier's loved ones -- his funeral.

    So kindly read this very brief decision, and show me where you feel the SCOTUS got it wrong.


    Also, if you are a citizen of a "better" system of government than the U.S.'s, as to this point, please explain how your government would have dealt with the WBC protesters.

    @galatin, @Leo2, @Dangermouse, @Dr.Knuckles, @The Man

    Let the games begin!
    Madeline, my friend, I would not presume to comment upon the laws of the United States of America (as a student of Laws and Jurisprudence, I have my plate full understanding ours). However, my understanding of the issue in the United Kingdom is along these lines.

    Freedom of speech and expression are recognised under the European Convention of Human Rights as fundamental human rights. In Britain these rights can be found as early as 1215 in Magna Carta, and are extremely important rights; in Britain we have the right to express ourselves without persecution from others.

    However, freedom of speech and expression are not absolute rights; this means that there are exceptions to these fundamental rights. For example publishing material or making comments that are specifically designed to incite racial hatred can be deemed a hate crime. Anyone who is found committing this offence can be charged in a criminal court. Many people argue that publishing a personís opinion, even if it is offensive to others, is a right. However, if the material is intended to bring harm against others then that is an abuse of the victimís other civil and human rights.

    Other exceptions can include restrictions on the grounds of public safety, the protection of health and morals, and restrictions to prevent crime and disorder. The main limitations to the rights of freedom of speech and expression are that those expressions do not endanger or harm others (physically, or psychologically - as is the case with children being subjected to inappropriate material).

    Freedom of speech and expression are fundamental within our society. But, with rights come responsibilities and obligations, and those obligations extend to not abrogating the rights of others to peaceful enjoyment of life.

    I don't know if any of this has been of assistance, but it would seem that our attitude to freedom of expression is similar to yours, but with some judicious limitation. I am unsure about this, but I suspect the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church, in the instance cited, would attract the attentions of the local constabulary under this jurisdiction.

  3. #23
    olguy OlGuy's Avatar
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    I think the first amendment was based on the idea that people were a homogeneous group but (somewhat) respectively disagreed. Not sure the original framers would have written to include Muslims, communists or the Westboro Church, which most likely would have been tarred and feathered or run out of town, like polygamists were (Mormons should have had a lawyer take it to the Supreme Court, but maybe it was too soon for that anyway).

  4. #24
    Wrinkly Member Dangermouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo2 View Post
    Madeline, my friend, I would not presume to comment upon the laws of the United States of America (as a student of Laws and Jurisprudence, I have my plate full understanding ours). However, my understanding of the issue in the United Kingdom is along these lines.

    Freedom of speech and expression are recognised under the European Convention of Human Rights as fundamental human rights. In Britain these rights can be found as early as 1215 in Magna Carta, and are extremely important rights; in Britain we have the right to express ourselves without persecution from others.

    However, freedom of speech and expression are not absolute rights; this means that there are exceptions to these fundamental rights. For example publishing material or making comments that are specifically designed to incite racial hatred can be deemed a hate crime. Anyone who is found committing this offence can be charged in a criminal court. Many people argue that publishing a person’s opinion, even if it is offensive to others, is a right. However, if the material is intended to bring harm against others then that is an abuse of the victim’s other civil and human rights.

    Other exceptions can include restrictions on the grounds of public safety, the protection of health and morals, and restrictions to prevent crime and disorder. The main limitations to the rights of freedom of speech and expression are that those expressions do not endanger or harm others (physically, or psychologically - as is the case with children being subjected to inappropriate material).

    Freedom of speech and expression are fundamental within our society. But, with rights come responsibilities and obligations, and those obligations extend to not abrogating the rights of others to peaceful enjoyment of life.

    I don't know if any of this has been of assistance, but it would seem that our attitude to freedom of expression is similar to yours, but with some judicious limitation. I am unsure about this, but I suspect the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church, in the instance cited, would attract the attentions of the local constabulary under this jurisdiction.
    I concur with my learned friend!
    Thanks from Leo2, Madeline and Ian Jeffrey

  5. #25
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    One of the big free speech cases dealt with the Nazis marching through Skokie. My con law professor quipped at the time, and I'll never forget it, "The 1st Amendment is all fun and games until the Nazis show up."

    And that's when its best to remember Patrick Henry.

  6. #26
    Senior Member bmanmcfly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo2 View Post
    Madeline, my friend, I would not presume to comment upon the laws of the United States of America (as a student of Laws and Jurisprudence, I have my plate full understanding ours). However, my understanding of the issue in the United Kingdom is along these lines.

    Freedom of speech and expression are recognised under the European Convention of Human Rights as fundamental human rights. In Britain these rights can be found as early as 1215 in Magna Carta, and are extremely important rights; in Britain we have the right to express ourselves without persecution from others.

    However, freedom of speech and expression are not absolute rights; this means that there are exceptions to these fundamental rights. For example publishing material or making comments that are specifically designed to incite racial hatred can be deemed a hate crime. Anyone who is found committing this offence can be charged in a criminal court. Many people argue that publishing a personís opinion, even if it is offensive to others, is a right. However, if the material is intended to bring harm against others then that is an abuse of the victimís other civil and human rights.

    Other exceptions can include restrictions on the grounds of public safety, the protection of health and morals, and restrictions to prevent crime and disorder. The main limitations to the rights of freedom of speech and expression are that those expressions do not endanger or harm others (physically, or psychologically - as is the case with children being subjected to inappropriate material).

    Freedom of speech and expression are fundamental within our society. But, with rights come responsibilities and obligations, and those obligations extend to not abrogating the rights of others to peaceful enjoyment of life.

    I don't know if any of this has been of assistance, but it would seem that our attitude to freedom of expression is similar to yours, but with some judicious limitation. I am unsure about this, but I suspect the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church, in the instance cited, would attract the attentions of the local constabulary under this jurisdiction.
    Sounds like you guy gave up free speech like in Canada... Now if whatever you say can be labeled as hate speech it might be deemed criminal.

  7. #27
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Neither do we, down here.
    So, tell Trump they're Muslim, or Mexican. He'll deport them. Problem solved
    Thanks from Madeline, BigLeRoy and Minotaur

  8. #28
    Veteran Member Dr.Knuckles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post


    There's a movement afoot to convince Americans that the First Amendment "goes too far". (Apparently, except when it protects the free expression of bigotry against GLBT people by self-professed "religious" people.

    But I digress......}

    And many highly-respected people NOT on PH, liberals and conservatives, seem to agree.



    https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2017...s-free-speech/

    The SCOTUS has ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church protesters have a First Amendment right to say what they like at a time and place cruelly calculated to inflict terrible emotional pain on that soldier's loved ones -- his funeral.

    So kindly read this very brief decision, and show me where you feel the SCOTUS got it wrong.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/09-751.ZS.html

    Also, if you are a citizen of a "better" system of government than the U.S.'s, as to this point, please explain how your government would have dealt with the WBC protesters.

    @galatin, @Leo2, @Dangermouse, @Dr.Knuckles, @The Man

    Let the games begin!
    Thanks for the invite.

    First off, I don't feel Canada's laws are better than the US's. Freedom of speech is a yes/no question. Not a matter of degrees. We all have freedom of speech in the Western world.

    Where I believe your SCOTUS "got it wrong", and where state courts "get it wrong" is the idea that if you have one right, and it's a high profile one, that you can commit any other illegal act -- and suddenly the illegal act becomes legal. Because of the other, more publically endorsed right.

    When they are unrelated.

    Both our countries get freedom of speech from English common law, a constitution and a bill of rights. But they differ in Suprene Court rulings.


    You can't tell a bank teller "put 2,000 in my bag or I'll shoot you" and call that free speech. You are robbing a bank. A totally different offence.

    You can't say "I'm coming to kill your kid tonight" and say that's free speech. That is a separate criminal offence. Uttering Threats.


    I can't think of any similar case to the Westbro group here. But I would think the Westbro group would have been told they are Causing a Disturbance. Section 175 Criminal Code. I'm my own words that would be "disturbing other people in a public place by using insulting or offensive language".

    They were Causing a Disturbance at that funeral. So they'd be told to stop and charged and given a court date. If they didn't cease, they'd be arrested for Causing a Disturbance and held until the funeral ended. Then released with a court date.

    They would have the right to publish their views. Speak them. Write them. Put them on Facebook. Write a monthly newsletter etc. But they couldn't go victimize some family and get away with a blatant criminal act simply because the criminal act incolved "speaking". Any more than you can commit an ID fraud and call it freedom of speech because you spoke while doing it.
    Last edited by Dr.Knuckles; 1st June 2017 at 07:19 PM.
    Thanks from The Man, jacobfitcher and Ian Jeffrey

  9. #29
    Member Robert Urbanek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post


    There's a movement afoot to convince Americans that the First Amendment "goes too far". (Apparently, except when it protects the free expression of bigotry against GLBT people by self-professed "religious" people.

    But I digress......}

    And many highly-respected people NOT on PH, liberals and conservatives, seem to agree.



    https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2017...s-free-speech/

    The SCOTUS has ruled that the Westboro Baptist Church protesters have a First Amendment right to say what they like at a time and place cruelly calculated to inflict terrible emotional pain on that soldier's loved ones -- his funeral.

    So kindly read this very brief decision, and show me where you feel the SCOTUS got it wrong.

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/09-751.ZS.html

    Also, if you are a citizen of a "better" system of government than the U.S.'s, as to this point, please explain how your government would have dealt with the WBC protesters.

    @galatin, @Leo2, @Dangermouse, @Dr.Knuckles, @The Man

    Let the games begin!
    How do we know that God does NOT laugh when soldiers die? After all, the God depicted in the Old Testament could be rather cruel.

  10. #30
    Vexatious Correspondent Leo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmanmcfly View Post
    Sounds like you guy gave up free speech like in Canada... Now if whatever you say can be labeled as hate speech it might be deemed criminal.
    I will ignore the insult inherent in the opening sentence, and you pose an interesting issue in the second - I shall attempt to address that.

    The basic premise of which is correct, but the issue is resolved by who, and under what circumstances, labels an utterance as hate speech.

    In any criminal trial issuing from such utterance, the evidence would be examined and cross-examined by counsel adhering to the rules of evidence, and under the control of the judiciary. As with any criminal matter, guilt would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and many factors - including intent, and common public perception, would be considered.

    If I were to stand on a box at Hyde Park corner, and use a loud-hailer to exhort the British public to deport all Muslims or Jews from this green and pleasant land - it may be argued that I was merely expressing an opinion to which I was entitled. However, it might also be proven that in so doing - I was (a) causing offence and fear amongst those demographics, and (b) initiating support for radical groups to take other, more aggressive, actions against those communities. My right to express my opinion might, in a court of law, be found to have been subsumed by the rights of others to peaceful enjoyment - and my actions deemed to be hate speech.

    On the other hand, if I were publicly to announce my support for the Barnardo's charitable institutions, and exhort others to contribute thereto - I doubt my utterances could be construed as abrogating the rights of anyone.

    So, as I indicated in my previous post, my community does not regard the right to freedom of expression as absolute, or without regard for its effects upon our other freedoms. Yours may very well do so - a matter upon which I am not qualified to comment.
    Last edited by Leo2; 2nd June 2017 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Typo
    Thanks from jacobfitcher and Ian Jeffrey

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