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 assembly, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
the perceived intent of the framers of the Furst Amendment
ad hoc balancing
Making decisions according to the specific facts of the case under review rather than more general principles
marketplace of ideas
Poet John Milton argued that an open marketplace of ideas advances the interests of society
Reasons for 1st Amendment
1. To find the truth (attainment of truth)
3. limited govt power (allows press to operate as a check on govt)
4. safety valve (diffusing individual and societal pressures)
5. Individual liberty
A govt action to prohibit publication before it is distributed
1. Any govt body or representative
2. reviews speech or press prior to distribution
3. stops the dissemination of ideas before they reach the public
Communication meant to incite people to change the government; criticism of the govt
A court order prohibiting a person or organization from doing a specified act
NY Times V. United States
1971 Supreme Court ruling that a court order preventing publication of news stories based on the Pentagon Papers was an unconstitutional prior restraint.
When prior restraints are constitutional
1. Obstruction of military recruitment
2. Publications of sensitive was information
3. Obscene publications
4. Incitements to violence
5. Forcible overthrow of govt
6. Fighting words likely to promote imminent violence
Aka time/place/management laws that regulate the non-speech elements of a message.
Laws enacted to regulate the subject matter or ideas expressed in speech.
A rigorous test to determine whether a content-neutral law is constitutional:
1. Is the law necessary
2. Will it advance a compelling govt interest, and
3. Does it go no further in harming 1st Amend rights?
Action that warrants 1st amend protection because its primary purpose is to express ideas
A standard applied by the courts to review laws that implicate core constitutional values
3-part test used to test intermediate scrutiny and determine whether a content-neutral law is constitutional:
1. Not related to the suppression of speech
2. Advances important government interest
3. Imposes only limited restriction to 1st Amend
Expression intended to generate or undermine public support for a particular issue, position or candidate
Provides a shield from the tyranny of the majority