“Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo in Palko v. Connecticut. This is the foundation of a vibrant democracy, and without it, other fundamental rights, would suffer.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights prevents Congress from making any law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, or abridging the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the right to peaceably assemble, or to petition for a governmental redress of grievances.
Left to Right: Charles “Chip” Babcock, Charlie Scudder, and David Upham, PhD
Our guests: Charles, “Chip” Babcock, a partner at Jackson and Walker, Charlie Scudder, Reporter, Dallas Morning News, and David Upham, PhD, Professor Political Philosophy, University of Dallas, join host Dennis McCuistion to discuss, f
reedom of speech, the press, and the set of guarantees, which are protected by the First Amendment.
Freedom of speech comprises what we refer to as freedom of expression. However, many in the U.S. are abridging the meaning and the fundamental premise of what free speech is. The Internet opens up new possibilities, the polarization of America is making for “new” rules- one of which is it’s free speech if I agree with the premise.
Joining us is Charles A. Murray, Ph.D, Author of Losing Ground, and a free speech absolutist. Dr. Murray, who last year invited by a student group to talk about his views, was physically run off campus at Middlebury College. He says, ” I can say anything I want to as long as I don’t yell fire in a crowded theater and the law can’t do anything to me. I can say reprehensible things, inflammatory things”. However free speech can be curtailed if it’s defamatory with malice or incites riots. There are also societal sanctions. Society can condemn speech outside of the government.
Freedom of speech is protected by our Constitution which points out that no state shall abridge the freedom of speech. Taking away free speech is one of the greatest threats to democracy. It implies government protection and requires effective government. Free speech needs to pass a jury test; it’s fair and accurate, innocent, no malice intended, it is not negligible and will not cause an accident. If we hear an idea and we deny the voice we cause polarization.
And it can lead to identity politics- if you are not like me what right do you have to speak to my experience? Well I may be wrong, inaccurate, misinformed, unknowing, however I do have the right.
Join us to discuss another controversial viewpoint on McCuistion, where as always we are talking about things that matter with people who care.
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Niki McCuistion, CSP
Co-founder/ Executive Producer
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2417 – 02.11.18