Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The First Amendment and Your Speech

What the First Amendment protects is largely a function of why it protects it-- the why being America's commitment to democracy and liberty. 

A mere 45 words, the First Amendment to the Constitution stands as a pillar of our democracy and has had an incalculable influence on the development of human freedom in the United States and the Western world. 

Watch a course preview here

How we define speech, the meaning of "religion," and when can the state interfere with your rights. How does the First Amendment apply to the Internet? Does the First Amendment apply to video games? Should new communication technologies make courts reconsider well-settled rules? Is social media subject to existing principles, to new ones, or to none at all?

By defining the relationship between the people and the state and placing checks on governmental power to silence its populace, its protections have important ramifications for every American. But the First Amendment is not simply a legal construct.  It has significant and far-reaching cultural implications as well. 

To study the First Amendment is to learn something about the meaning of America and who "We the People" are. So, it behooves citizens to understand what it says and its latest interpretations; particularly in this age of rapidly emerging technology. The First Amendment and You: What Everyone Should Know is a six lecture online eCourse-- and provides a practical guide to understanding the protections and limitations implied by this fundamental constitutional provision.

Watch a course preview here



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