PAD 525 Week 4 Discussions Freedom of Speech

2 Oct No Comments

Week 4 Discussion 1

“Freedom of Speech.” Please respond to the following: 

Review Texas v. Johnson. Assuming you want to sustain the conviction, make the best argument you can for how that can be reconciled with the First Amendment. Of the opinions that would have sustained the conviction, which do you find most persuasive and why? 

Evaluating Van Orden v. Perry, as a public administrator, in the rule of law, explain to what extent your beliefs should affect your reactions to the various justices’ opinions.

“Freedom of Speech.” Please respond to the following:

Review Texas v. Johnson. Assuming you want to sustain the conviction, make the best argument you can for how that can be reconciled with the First Amendment. Of the opinions that would have sustained the conviction, which do you find most persuasive and why? 

Evaluating Van Orden v. Perry, as a public administrator, in the rule of law, explain to what extent your beliefs should affect your reactions to the various justices’ opinions.

Texas v. Johnson

In the U.S, there is protection of the freedom of speech by the First Amendment. This freedom is however, not absolute with the Supreme Court recognizing various categories of speech that are excluded from this freedom. Government criticism and advocacy of ideas not popular especially those not conforming to public policy and disliked by the people are almost always accepted. Exceptions to general protections include the miller test for obscenity, inciteful speech to lawless action, child pornography, as well as advertising. The First Amendment contains laws that allows for freedom to exercise religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to assemble peacefully, and the right to petition the government on grievances.

In the case of Texas v. Johnson, the defendant hunt an American flag outside the convention center in 1984 during the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas. He handed the flag in protest against President Reagan’s policies. He was arrested and then charged with violation of a statute in Texas preventing the desecration of a venerated object which included the American flag and if such an act were likely to incite anger in others (). He was tried and convicted. He appealed against the case citing that his actions were symbolic speech under the protection of the First Amendment. The issue was whether burning of the flag constituted “symbolic speech” protected by the First Amendment. It was ruled in his favor citing that it was protected noting that freedom of speech protects actions which society might fight to be very offensive, but the anger alone does not justify suppression of free speech.

If I were to sustain his earlier conviction, I would argue that the defendant has a right to free speech but his prosecution was based on the way he expressed his dissatisfaction with the policies. If he had chosen to do it use other means such as spray painting with a motion projector for instance, his message would have been protected under the law. I find the argument by Justice Stevens that the flag’s unique status as a symbol of national unity outweighing “symbolic speech” concerns as the most persuasive.

Van Orden v. Perry

In the case of Van Orden v. Perry, it was based on a Texas monument that was outside the capital building with the Ten Commandments on it. According to the rule of law, displays having both religious and governmental significance will not be held to be in violation of the Established clause. The issue in the case was whether every public display holding religious context must pass the Lemon test so as to not violate the Established clause. It was held that no lemon test was required. As a public admin, my beliefs can only affect my reactions to the extent of separation of religion. But as long as the religion is connected to the governmental monuments then the law has to be followed.

References

Facts and Case Summary – Texas v. Johnson. (2016). United States Courts. Retrieved 24 October 2016, fromhttp://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/educational-activities/facts-and-case-summary-texas-v-johnson

Van Orden v. Perry | Casebriefs – Part 2. (2016). Casebriefs.com. Retrieved 24 October 2016, fromhttp://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/constitutional-law/constitutional-law-keyed-to-sullivan/the-religion-clauses-free-exercise-and-establishment/van-orden-v-perry/2/

Week 4 Discussion 2

4

5

“Freedom of Information.” Please respond to the following:

 As a public administrator over a particular entity, describe when public officials should be allowed to conduct their activities in secret. Provide an example. 

Evaluating New York Times v. United States, provide an example in which it may be warranted to violate the morality of the freedom of information by publicizing a secret identity to prove a point. Explain how this example warrants the morality violation.

Discussion 2

“Freedom of Information.” Please respond to the following:

 As a public administrator over a particular entity, describe when public officials should be allowed to conduct their activities in secret. Provide an example. 

Evaluating New York Times v. United States, provide an example in which it may be warranted to violate the morality of the freedom of information by publicizing a secret identity to prove a point. Explain how this example warrants the morality violation.

This Act allows for full as well as partial declaration of previous information not yet released and documents that are controlled by the U.S government. The Act also defines the records that are subject to disclosure and the procedures as well as the exceptions to the Statute. This act only applies explicitly to branches of executive government agencies. These agencies must comply with providing information required by the public.

As a public administrator, public officials should be allowed to conduct their activities in secret on a number of occasions. Trade secrets as well as commercial or financial information acquired confidentially should not be issued to the public. Documents related to executive orders that contains secrets of foreign policy or the national defense are considered classified and public officials should not disclose them to the public. Public officials should also be allowed to work in secret if the information being sought has personnel medial files which if disclosed would amount to invasion of personal privacy (Casebriefs, 2016).

In New York Times v. United States, the case involved the New York Times and the Washington Post obtaining illegal copies of documents that had information detaining the Vietnam war. The government obtained an injunction against the publication of these documents but the New York Times appealed and it was ruled in their favor.

It may be warranted to violate the morality of the freedom of information by publicizing a secret identity to prove a point for instance, when the information is classified or is to be kept a secret in the interest of foreign policy or national defense and also if disclosing the information would threaten national security. It was immoral for the paper to obtain the paper illegally and the fact that the documents contained classified information. The first amendment provisions are not absolute and in this case the freedom of press information could not be applied as publicizing the information would threaten national security.

References

New York Times Co. v. United States (1971). (2016). Infoplease.com. Retrieved 24 October 2016, fromhttp://www.infoplease.com/us/supreme-court/cases/ar25.html

Bottom of Form




Click following link to download this document

PAD 525 Week 4 Discussions Freedom of Speech.docx