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The first amendment of the US Constitution states that 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 Ever since the beginning of the Supreme Court cases have come up time and time again that challenge this amendment or require the justices to interpret this amendment Looking back at all the cases heard it is obvious that the US Supreme Court have changed their interpretations many times As society has changed and the public perception of freedom of speech has changed so has the way the Supreme Court looks at the first amendment It seems that in one case their granting freedom of speech and claiming it is absolute and then the next case their taking free speech away saying that all rules have exceptions The best way to analyze the inconsistencies or the US Supreme Courts decisions in free speech cases is to look into key cases on both the Supreme Court granting and limiting free speech Three main cases of the least century in which they limited free speech were Schenck v United States 1919 CBS v Democratic National Committee 1973 and City Council of Los Angeles v Vincent In Schenck v United States Schenck and Company were convicted of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 a Federal law which among other things made it a crime to obstruct government draft recruiting and enlistment efforts Schenck printed 15000 leaflets many of which were to be mailed to draftees On one of the sides of this leaflet were printed among others the following phrases Do not submit to intimidation Assert your Rights and If you do not assert and support your rights you are helping to deny or disparage rights which it is the solemn duty of all citizens and residents of the United States to retain Schenck was arrested for passing along this information
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