Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Freedom of Speech and Press - Exceptions

Recently a Coeur d'Alene community activist was talking with a woman who is also a member of the school board, a member of our community college's board of trustees, and a police sergeant. During the conversation the woman advocated an action which would violate Idaho law. When the activist pointed out how the woman's objective could be achieved without violating state law, the woman reportedly said, "That's ludicrous." Subsequently in a weblog post, the community activist referred to the woman as a "snake" for her willingness to violate state law when lawful but less convenient and less expedient methods were available. Was his characterization of her an exercise of his free speech or defamation?

There are exceptions to free speech and press. To provide Congress with an overview of some of the exceptions, the Library of Congress's Congressional Research Service published a 43-page report for Congress titled Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment.

Issues covered in the report include:
  • Obscenity
  • Child pornography
  • Content-based restrictions
  • Non-content based restrictions
  • Prior restraint
  • Commercial speech
  • Defamation
  • Speech harmful to children
  • Children's First Amendment rights
  • Time, place, and manner restrictions
  • Incidental restrictions
  • Symbolic speech
  • Compelled speech
  • Radio and television
  • Freedom of speech and government funding
  • Free speech rights of government employees and government contractors


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