The First Amendment states that Congress shall make no laws that abridge our freedom of speech and of the press. But is freedom of speech really an absolute right? This course will start with an introductory survey to help everyone formulate and discuss their own attitudes toward the issues to be discussed involving freedom of speech and press landmark cases. Throughout the course, we will engage in interactive discussions and analysis of these issues, such as:
Earlier in our history, should the colonists have had the right to criticize their colonial governor?
Should speech be an absolute right?
How has the court balanced free speech/press with national security?
Should ‘fighting words’ be protected speech?
Do students have freedom of speech and press in public schools?
Should the First Amendment protect ‘hate speech’?
Complex legal issues will be presented using visuals so that everyone can fully participate in the discussions.