Student's Name: Professor's Name: Chaplinsky v New Hampshire 24 April 2010 The issue to be decided – the court in this case had to decide whether profanity enjoys the same protection as those rights guaranteed under the First Amendment, namely freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion…
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135). The court said it did not contribute to any meaningful benefit to a healthy discussion of ideas and that social order and morality are much more important than allowing someone to use profanity to castigate one type of religion by using free speech. The court’s ruling – the judge ruled that profanity has no place in society because it is a different matter altogether as compared to mere obscenity. Profanity already involved God’s name being used in a disparaging or unflattering manner and should therefore be disallowed. Although previous court rulings had nullified anti-blasphemy laws in the United States before this case (such as Cantwell v Connecticut), the judge in this capstone case drew the line as it pertains to certain acts not allowed under guise of the First Amendment protection (ibid.). The rationale – a justification behind this precedent-setting case is that there are limits to First Amendment rights. Profanity is not allowed in the same manner obscenity is outlawed and protection under First Amendment extends only to legitimate political, religious or social discussion of ideas in the spirit of free and open dialogue. It does not allow derogatory words. Moreover, the larger implication of this ruling was it reinforced the separation of the Church and State in that no single religion is favored over other religions (Christianity was favored in earlier times being the majority religion). ...
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