Open Access Presidential Scholars Thesis
The First Amendment guarantees that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech .... " The founding fathers clearly recognized the importance of freedom of speech to a democracy, and thus provided for its complete protection. A democracy, however, requires both liberty and order if it is to be effective. The problem, then, is balancing the needs of freedom and civil order in a manner that least restricts liberty, yet still maintains the order that is crucial to the life of a democracy.
The on-going debate over the scope of protection provided under the First Amendment reflects these conflicting needs of democracy. There are basically two schools of thought on the Freedom of Speech, and the views and arguments of the American Civil Liberties Union ACLU) and scholar Walter Berns, author of The First Amendment and The Future of American Democracy, provide an insightful and thorough representation of these two opposing schools.
Date of Award
Department of Political Science
Presidential Scholar Designation
A paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation Presidential Scholar
1 PDF file (15 pages)
©1992 - Susan E. Hanna
Hanna, Susan E., "Free speech: The debate over the current scope of protection provided under the First Amendment" (1992). Presidential Scholars Theses (1990 – 2006). 78.