By definition, Core Political Speech is expressions which comment on government action rather than the private conduct of an individual. By law, the First Amendment protects citizens’ right of freedom of expression. Citizen’s have the right to express one’s ideas and opinions freely through writing, speech, and other forms of communication but without deliberately causing harm to others’ character and/or reputation by false or misleading statements. Yet, some facilities and companies overstep their boundaries and take away employees’ and other people’s right to express their beliefs and views to others. But, where do employers and facilities cross the line and say your freedom to express what you say is too much?? In one instant, at N.C. Central University, students using any derogatory terms in the dorms that offended others, broke dormitory conduct policy. The student policy at N.C. Central is “avoid using the written or spoken word in a way that demeans, defames, offends, slanders or discriminates.” If an offensive derogatory term is used and a facility members finds out, the terms could lead to punishment for said students. The foundation’s director of policy research, Samantha Harris, said “A broad provision like this could even implicate the kind of core political speech that is at the heart of what the First Amendment protects.” To protest the school abandoning the rights along with the First Amendment, an advocacy-and-legal-aid group mailed 111 university officials saying that they are “vulnerable to a court challenge and, in its opinion, to being found personally liable for damages if they don’t rewrite their policies.” Any student could take offense to any belief or opinion another student has. It’s not fair for the university to say that students can’t express their views in front of their peers. It takes away the students right to freedom of expression in a place that is supposed to encourage different viewpoints. This university is crossing the line of forgetting that any student has the right to express their own views and opinions, as long as they abide to the limitations of the U.S. Government.
Another instance occurred when assistant State Attorney, KrisAnne Hall, was fired from her assistant position after what she believes was because she spoke her mind about the U.S. Constitution to other groups at a gathering. According to Karianna Wilkins, the president of 3rd Judicial Circuit, “She discussed the Constitution and our Founding Fathers and encouraged we the people to educate and inform ourselves; The Gainesville Tea Party fully supports KrisAnne Hall’s First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and right to peaceably assemble.” Also according to First Coast Tea Party organizer Billie J. Tucker, “Ms. Hall engaged in core political speech on a matter of public concern, which is the most highly valued and protected form of speech; she did this as a private citizen and not in her capacity as an assistant state attorney.” Her former boss, State Attorney Skip Jarvis, believed “he has the right under Florida law to fire an assistant without cause”, yet KrisAnne Hall believes she was fired for not what she said but who she talked to. Tucker said there’s no indication her speeches, which also touched on health care reform and budget deficits, interfered with her work or that of the State Attorney’s Office. Her bossed crossed the line when firing her because it made the public seem Hall said something that Jarvis didn’t agree with, even though he said he has the right to fire an assistant with no reason.
Only these were a few examples of how freedom of expression and core political speech is swiped from citizens of the U.S. because others may not believe in what others express. By abandoning the protection of the First Amendment, it’s abandoning the right to freedom of speech. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.”
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