Antipaternalism Principle in the First Amendment, The
FIRST PARAGRAPH(S)|The First Amendment expresses the idea that government should not be able to tell citizens what to speak, hear, write, or read. Yet this simple idea is riddled with exceptions so common they are barely contested. These exceptions do not ordinarily depend on the quality or value of the speech being offered but on the reason why the government wants to restrict it. So, the federal government may not punish draft-card burning because it encourages draft-resistance, but it may do so because it hinders the administration of the selective service system. The police may not shut down a Ku Klux Klan rally because it is racist, but they may do so because it threatens an immediate riot. The city may not forbid the use of a loudspeaker because it is used to criticize the police chief, but it may do so because it disrupts the peace and tranquility of a neighborhood. The zoning board may not refuse to license an adult theater because it is immoral, but...
37 Creighton L. Rev. 579 (2003-2004)
Creighton University School of Law