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Assignment One: Free Speech
With regard to the freedom of speech, the first amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from the government, and the government alone, doing things that would deny your freedom of speech. Drawn from this context, despite the fact that freedom of speech is stipulated under the Constitution, this does not give anyone the right to say just anything to anyone, whenever they need to. If this happens, a person should expect some consequences to follow.
Political speech is said to get the most protection under the freedom of speech. In this regard, it is given the "preferred position." This means that any law, executive act or regulation that limits political speech is almost always struck down by courts. This was primarily exemplified in the case, Brandenburg v Ohio, 1968, where a Ku Klux Klan leader, the appellant, was convicted under the Ohio Criminal Syndicalism statute for making a speech that was offensive to some people. However, the court ruled that since the case was political, it was protected by the first amendment.
In the case, U.S v Schenck, 1917, where Schenck distributed pamphlets urging people to avoid the World War I, draft and was later charged with conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act.
Symbolic speech, which includes wearing armbands, carrying signs or burning of the American flag is also protected under the First Amendment. Besides, although commercial speech is not protected under this amendment, it is said to merit some protection if it is political. For instance, spending money on political campaigns is determined to be speech that has protection under the first amendment.
In the case, Pickering v. Board of Education, 1942, a public school teacher wrote to a local paper complaining about how the school board was spending money and was later fired. Although he was able to get his job back after a court ruling, it is said that the only reason why he got his job back was since his employer was the government.
Assignment Two: DUI Checkpoints
In my opinion, following the Minor Fourth Amendment, which, protects the public from unreasonable government intrusions into their legitimate expectation of privacy, the DUI checkpoint, in this case, is legal and justified. Firstly, the police officer handling the subject, in this case, is overly patient and does not aggressively pester the subject into doing something that they do not understand. Besides, despite not having a probable course for the pullover, the police officers take their time to explain to the motorist that the constitution allows them to carry out DUI and driving license checks to protect public safety. In my understanding, the core purpose of DUI and license identification checkpoints is to deter or to prevent injuries to both people and property entirely. This is contrary to the subject's understanding, who thought that he was only being pulled over for detection of criminal activity, or rather a crime that the police officers might have thought he had committed.
Thus, in a nutshell, a checkpoint like the one in this case, is conducted to enhance public safety or something with a similar purpose, hence would be considered legal. This is opposed to those checkpoints that are conducted for the sake of criminal wrongdoings since these are deemed unlawful and in violation of the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.
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