Bill Casey: The discussions of freedom of speech, please readgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Boiled down it is this:
The founders of the U.S. Constitution believed that the freedom of speech extended and should rightfully extend out to the end of the nose of the speaker.
It does not extend out as far as the nose of everyone else near the speaker.
They sought to allow freedom of speech to those who wanted to use it properly and in a civilized manner. It was and still is limited. They envisioned two people standing, facing each other, speaking their thoughts openly *between themselves* in a discussion of their choosing.
To raise one's voice to the level of disturbing the peace was not and is not considered freedom of speech. It is considered bad manners and if persistent, it is a violation of applicable law.
-- snooze button (email@example.com), January 06, 2000
Actually, there's considerable historical evidence that the Framers (that's the word you're looking for) actually intended freedom of speech only for members of Congress. There's still a trace of that in Congress today, in that members cannot be prosecuted for statements they make on the floor of the House or Senate. There's an interesting case that deals with that; Hutchinson v. Proxmire, I believe it is.
Actually, if you're near a speaker, and don't care to hear what they have to say, common sense would suggest absenting oneself from the area of objectionable speech. If you're near a speaker, chances are good that you're going to hear what they have to say, like it or not.
Saying that free speech was and is limited is quite true. But saying that is not the same as saying "any limits I choose to put on your speech are okay." Some limits are expressly forbidden. Prior restraint of speech or publication, for example, which is legal in the UK, is illegal in the US.
The two-person paradigm you suggest flies in the face of the Constitutional guarantee of freedom to peaceably assemble, also enshrined in the First Amendment. What are the assembled to do once they get together? Stare at each other?
To raise ones voice in free speech is most certainly a facet of freedom of speech. Whether it is bad manners or not is simply not a Constitutional matter. And I invite you to find some law that applies to this forum.
I don't care for the persistent flames on here at all, but misinformation is misinformation, Alarmclock. If the flamers won't go away, then the solution is a secure forum that they can't get into.
-- Tink R. Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 07, 2000.