Freedomof speech can be defined as the right to express thoughts, ideas, and personalthrough a desired media without any restrictions, just so as long as these actionsdo not infringe on the rights of another person or national security. However,the government has no right to control over anyone’s freedom of speech, but I dobelieve they have some responsibility to control some embodiments of speechmeaning that we cannot just say whatever we want to say without respect ofothers.
According to the first amendment which states “Congress shall make nolaw respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercisethereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right ofthe people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redressof grievances,” the government cannot control our own personal opinions andsuch. The first amendment at first only applied to congress laws passed, butcase Gitlow v. New York changed it to where it also applies to federal andstate governments.
How does this affects the rights of the people? To begin with, when the FoundingFathers created freedom of speech, they believed that a free society must allowits citizens to freely express themselves without government interference.However, through the years exceptions to free speech have arisen. For example,saying something in public that can potentially start a fight of any sort, orviolent words towards people, and saying things such as “FIRE!” which can lead peopleon to something else is what the government can do something about. Using thesetypes of actions and taking advantage of freedom of speech this way can get youin trouble.
According to the current state of law, there are certainrestrictions on freedom of speech imposed by the Supreme Court. They define afew categories of speech, which are considered to be not fully protected by theFirst Amendment. These categories include defamation, advocacy of imminentillegal conduct, obscenity and fraudulent misrepresentation. However, if thespeech does not fall within one of these categories, there are no grounds forthe government to argue that freedom of speech should be restricted because ofits harmful content.Inspite of this, the question is does the US Government have the right or responsibilityto control speech in America? Yes andno. Yes as in you can speak freely or say whatever you want to say to embraceyour opinion.
That is why the First Amendment guarantees our right to free expressionand free association. Which means that the government does not have the rightto forbid us from saying what we like and writing what we like; we can formclubs and organizations, and take part in demonstrations and rallies. Freedomof speech protected by the First Amendment is not just a right, which can bedeclared or abolished; Freedom of speech is an essential part of the liberty ofevery person, who pursues an individual self-determination and self-realization.Thus, freedom of speech is also a part more global right to freedom of personaldevelopment and self-expression.
Therefore restricting some categories ofspeech may make some feel that it does affect our right to freedom of speech.However, the government has some resposibilty to control it within its range.