Due April 13th


1. “Natual freedom is not unbounded, however, but is subject to the limits prescribed by the law of nature, which requires individuals to respect the freedom, equality, and fundamental rights of others.” Paul Finkelman “Hate Speech and the Constitution”

The quote states that individual freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment but is inherently limited by the rights of others. Although an individual has the freedom of speech, he or she should not cross the boundaries by not respecting another person’s rights such as equality, civility, and dignity.Natural freedom refers to the inaliable rights conceptualized by John Locke, an English philosopher widely known as the father of Liberalism . Individuals have natural rights to life, liberty, and property. The law of nature refers to the protection of the natural rights to life, liberty and property that every individual has. The quote is important to my focus because it talks about free speech and its limits. It contributes to my focus because it in a sense draws a boundary on free speech and states individual rights that are to be protected. In relation to my thesis, the quote presents the dilemma between the two constitutional commitments to the protection of free speech and the protection of other fundamental individual rights.

2.”The queston in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.” William B. Fisch “Hate Speech in the Constitutional Law of the United States”

Fisch states that in situations that involve hate speech the goverment are to determine whether or not the words are likely to provoke a violence. In cases whereby words provoke a violent response or dangerous response Congress can regulate the activity without the concern for the Free Speech clause. Clear and present danger refer to acts of violence on either the victim’s side towards the aantagonst or vice versa. The quote is helpful because it presents a case or example whereby free speech can be limited by the government. The quote applies to my focus because it presents a boundary of free speech.


The two quotes relate to each other because they refer to freedom of speech and its limitations. They both present situations whereby boundaries can be drawn on free speech. The quotes talk about rights. The first quote talks about individual rights whereas the second quote talks about the rights of government. The quotes differ in that the first qoute talks about individual natural rights in general whereas the second one focuses on specific cases whereby speech presents danger. Both quotes agree on that there should be limits on free speech based on their given examples. The quotes might agree because both authors are focusing on hate speech based on the Constitution. Both authors are explaining or giving examples whereby free speech should or could be regulated.

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment  

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