Does Freedom of Speech Actually Exist?
Freedom of Speech has been regarded as a controversial right since its submission to Congress on September 25, 1789, and its passing by Congress on December 15, 1791. The right has been repeatedly challenged by several political parties because of the belief that Freedom of Speech does not appropriately define its restrictions. Exceptions regarding Freedom of Speech have been passed on a federal level, adding limitations to free speech. However, the sole definition of Freedom of Speech is, “The right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint.” My question is, does Freedom of Speech actually exist?
The Democratic Party is one example of a political party being in favor of the repeal of the First Amendment. In the last three years, the Democratic Party has attempted to formulate an amendment that allows Freedom of Speech with restrictions. In 2014, the Democratic Party rallied support for their constitutional revision. At this time, they had forty-three members of the Democratic Party sponsoring their self written amendment. The unpopular subject of this amendment presents evidence for the controversy behind the First Amendment and one of many attempts to repeal it.
The United States Supreme Court recognizes eight categories of exceptions in terms of free speech. One of the eight categories is Fighting Words and Offensive Speech. This means that if language used by an individual causes severe emotional distress for another, this is not under the First Amendment and the language is censored. Exceptions regarding free speech are unfortunately not general knowledge for the public, and it does lead people to abuse the right of expression.
In response to my previous question, “..does Freedom of Speech actually exist?”, I conclude that Freedom of Speech does exist within said guidelines. In other words, before expressing yourself, as Dr. Lumsden would say as he begrudgingly trudges over to answer a student’s question during final exams, “Use your best judgment…”