Foust Law Office - June 2021

Foust Law Office

PRST STD US POSTAGE PAID BOISE, ID PERMIT 411 406-587-3720 Fax: 406-879-4400

3390 South 30th Avenue Bozeman, MT 59718


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Legally Speaking, What Is Censorship?


Legally Speaking, What Is Censorship? A Brief Dive Into the First Amendment

The Freedom to Speak — Without Obscenity or Inciting Violence

The First Amendment has been the centerpiece of a contentious debate about what can legally be posted (and deleted) on social media like Twitter and Facebook. But before we can define “censorship,” we need to know what is defined as “free speech.” What exactly does the First Amendment say about free speech? What are the boundaries for what people can and cannot do?

The First Amendment covers the freedom of speech, press, and religion. It’s arguably one of the most fundamental amendments to American democracy, but its interpretations can vary significantly. This is how the full First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Why is it that the Ku Klux Klan and Westboro Baptist Church have gotten into legal trouble for expressing their opinions? Their groups often promote acts of violence against another group, which violates the “peaceably” qualifier to the people’s right to assemble.

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