A founding fathersgave Americans Civil liberties to protect us against government actions. Civilliberties are the freedom given to every individual. Civil liberties give usthe rights such as life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. The government oranyone cannot change or take away these rights. Civil liberties give everyindividual the right to do things that are not illegal and they cannot beobstructed by the government. Civil liberties mean having freedom of speech,expression, living, and practice religion. In the United States, governmentcannot take away these rights. We are born with these rights.
Civil liberties areprotected by the Constitution and bill of rights. Civil liberties are stated asthe amendments in the United States Constitution. Example is the FirstAmendment under Bill of Rights. Some of the protection that we get under Firstamendments are freedom of religion and freedom of free speech and right to jurytrial and travel freely and right to privacy. I will talk about freedom ofspeech. Under the Constitution every individual get right to freedom of speech.American’s have this right of freedom of speech as long as the words are notoffensive or hurting someone. This right is protected under the constitution.
The protectedspeech will have content based restriction meaning a speech other than the fightingor violence words is protected. Another example would be commercial speech, a companygives an add saying television is only for two hundred dollars, but they meantfive hundred dollars. When a person goes in the company does not have to sellthem the television for two hundred because this was a mistake. This speech isprotected under commercial speech because it a mistake. This company sells televisionfor profit. Commercial speech may be banned if it misleading or if theyadvertising illegal products. A government can also do a Central Hudson test forexample they did in a court case Lorillard Tobacco C.
v. Reilly. They do thistest to determine whether a regulation for commercial speech is constitutional ornot. Freedom of speech gives the right to advertise commercial productsand professional services with some restriction for example a court case Virginia Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Consumer Council in 1976. It allows us to engage in symbolic speech like burningthe flag in protest for example court case Texasv.
Johnson in 1989. Under Freedom of Speech the unprotected speech is firstcontent based speech meaning does it have violet speech like I am going to hityou. Anything that is violent is taken out from the speech content. Second violencemeaning a person using fighting words. Third is Defamation meaning sayingsomething that is not true and causes a damage for someone for example a courtcase Miller v. California in 1973. Fourthwould be child pornography, it is material visually depicts the sexual conductby children. This is not protected by First amendment even if it is not offensive.
In 1996, congress passed an act called Child Pornography protection act. Freedom of speech does not include to burndraft cards as an anti-war protest for example a court case United States v. O’Brien in 1968. Anotherexample would be students cannot make offensive speech at a school-sponsoredevents a court case example would be BethelSchool District #43 v. Fraser in 1986.