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Originally posted by Res Ipsa
Speech may be regulated.
It being as "fundamental" of a right as it gets, it is afforded the highest levels of judical review.
I think some people are confused a bit because they think that government can't touch certain things. They can touch anything.
The question of whether something (a law) is constitutional or not is and has always been a matter of interpretation by the Supreme Court.
The way they do it is by weighing the importance of the Right with the governments right to infringe, regulate, or even prohibit I guess.
The more fundamental the right the greater the burnded on the government to justify its infringement.
There are 3 basic standards of judicial review. a) Strict Scrutiny b) Intermediate and c) rational basis.
It is rare for the Court to ignore stare decisis so most of the constitutional issues have been pretty well established.
The FCC is a regulatory body. They have been given their authority by congress. Speech may be regulated.
There ya go.
There were no specific laws or surveillance by regulatory groups to assure that indecent and obscene material would not be broadcast. Broadcasters were trusted to regulate themselves and what they broadcast “suitable” and compliant material over the airwaves. Therefore, when the case of the FCC vs. Pacifica made its way to the Supreme Court it was a dangerous and controversial decision for the Supreme Court to make. The ultimate question came down to, could the government regulate the freedom of speech?
Carlin's monologue was speech according to the first amendment. (Simones, 1995) Because of this, Pacifica argued, "the first amendment prohibits all governmental regulation that depends on the content of speech."(Gunther, 1991) "However there is no such absolute rule mandated by the constitution," according to the Supreme Court.(Gunther, 1991). Leaving the question of "whether a broadcast of patently offensive words dealing with sex and excretion may be regulated because of its content. The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it."(Gunther, 1991) The Supreme Court deemed that Carlin’s words offend for the same reasons that obscenity offends. They also state "these words, even though they had no literary meaning or value, were still protected by the first amendment."(Gunther, 1991)
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed