Donald Trump and Free Speech


Donald Trump is right — his constitutional right to free speech under the First Amendment were violated; and no one has the right to disrupt or prevent him from sharing his message. I say this as Sanders’ supporter. It is up to the local authorities to intervene when they see that his speech contains fighting words, or incitement that leads to lawlessness. Demagoguery is free speech.

Free speech and the rights to free speech are enshrined in the US Constitution (First Amendment) and the Supreme Court put lots of restrictions on governments from abridging that right.

However Free Speech under our Constitution is NOT free. It is limited and has many exceptions and these exceptions came about over time and all depends on the type of speech, under what contexts? These exceptions made such rights a limited one.

Over the years the US Supreme Court developed certain categories or exceptions covering free speech or lack of it and in summary these are “

1. Incitement: Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) or the advocacy of the use of force and such speech is “unprotected speech” since it creates imminent lawlessness and a reaction equally forceful.

2. False Statements: Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc, (1974) where the Supreme Court ruled “No constitutional value in false statements of facts” ruling that libel, slander are punishable offenses. However in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964) the court ruled, “some completely false statement could be entirely free from punishment- lies about government may protect completely”.

3. Obscenity: Miller v. California (1973) ruling that “speech is unprotected if (1) the average person applying community standards would find that the subject, taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interests.”(2) The work taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

4. Child Pornography: here the courts takes a tough stand against child phonograph from Obscenity “if the speech falls and it is classified under child pornography and for sure not protected speech”.



Now to the case of Donald Trump. Did his speeches rise to the level of “fighting words” or offensive speech under the standards of Chaplinskey v New Hampshire (1942) where the Supreme Court ruled “speech is unprotected if it constitute “ fighting words”?

The Supreme Court went further in defining “speech” that “tends to incite an immediate breach of peace – by provoking a fight so long as it is personally abusive words, when addressed to the ordinary citizen, is, as matter of common knowledge inherently likely to produce a violent reaction.” And “speech is unprotected if it either intentionally, knowingly or recklessly inflict sever emotional distress” Of course almost all of Donald Trump speeches are incitement to action and fighting words. It is the local authorities that must decide on whether to allow him to proceed or not?

While most if not all people know about the famous “Speaker Corner” in London Hyde Park, here in America we are yet to designate certain areas as “Free Speech Zone” where speakers and audience can meet, listen and debate issues whether important or stupid but nevertheless enjoying the rights to a free speech in a “protected” area.

In fact “Speaker Corner” in Hyde Park is not all that free with certain limitation on excessive profanity and of course defamation and incitement and fighting words. The “Speaker Corner” is a large area extending from the “Speaker Corner” near Park Lane, all the way to Marble Arch to beyond the Reform Tree all the way to Victoria Gate.

Of course the English Parliament certainly the British government never formalize the status of the “Speaker Corner” but allowed it, within the Park Regulation Act of 1872, ruling out any “statutory rights” to free speech.

Here in the US it was the brave Tom L. Johnson, mayor of Cleveland (1901-1909) who dedicated the Northwest quadrants of Public Square to free speech. Among universities only Elon University did designate an area on campus for “free speech” but limited to students.

What happened to Donald Trump and the disruption to his rally is a reminder that while it is true we have guaranteed freedom of speech but that freedom also has its limitations.

The fact that his statements engaged people in “fighting” mood is enough to fall under the exemption categories.

What we all need to do is to formally request from our towns and villages to formally designate an area in public park or in front of city hall as “Speaker Corner” where one or more can mount a pedestal and talk. They have the right to show their intelligence or their stupidity, and it will be lots of fun to go and listen on a Sunday.

All universities given the fear from Pro-Israeli lobbies such as Campus Watch and fear from financially powerful alumni made academic freedoms in the classroom almost non-existent, especially when it comes to Israel.

Since universities could not guarantee academic freedoms in the classroom, certainly they could guarantee it outside the classroom by designating an area near the “student commons” where only students can mount the pedestal and express and exercise their rights to freedom of speech without putting the university in danger of losing alumni funds as was the case with Columbia University and the University of Illinois. Freedom of speech as at “Speaker Corner” is also the place where Pro-Israeli students can exercise their freedom of speech without infringing on the academic freedoms in the classrooms.

A Speaker Corner is coming to the town and university near you. Why not go ahead and petition your city council of university to designate a “Speaker Corner” a place to listen, learn and have fun every Sunday?


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10 Responses to "Donald Trump and Free Speech"

  1. ProtectUSA1st  March 23, 2016 at 2:23 pm


    On 12/14/12__ After Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting,
    in Newtown, CT __ Ex-Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg
    the Israeli-American & his Friends blaming the shooting on GUNS,
    rather than MENTAL HEALTH, so he spent his own Millions of ($):
    (NRA) that did not happened, as far as we know.
     On 3/22/16__Once again, To Take Away, the MOST PRECIOUS OF
    UNCONSTITUTIONALLY, for the sake of Israel (Anti-BDS), which was
    Passed by Illinois Legislature, FOUGHT by Chicago Mayor Emmanuel the
    Israeli-American & Friends, where the Bill includes Blacklisting Individuals,
    Companies, even Foreign Allies & WTO, who BDS-ISRAEL or SPEAK
    in Support of Israel BDS are ALL Blacklisted.
     Illinois did NOT STOP at the State Assembly, but to make matter Worse, Chicago Mayor Emmanuel (D-IL), along with Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) & Other Israel 1st and in the Pocket of Israel, have a BILL in Congress S.2531 & H.R 4514.
     The Ex-Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg the Israeli-American Made Sure to have the Israel Anti-BDS Bill Passed Before he Left Office, where He Changed the Law to Serve (3-Terms) Instead of (2-Terms). Other States Arizona, California, Maryland, Florida & Indiana have Passed Anti-BDS Laws.

    • Sami Jamil Jadallah  March 23, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      True, ProtectUSA1st.. Israel is the only country in the world without a written constitution and also without defined borders.

  2. JS  March 17, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Sami, most of the security at political rallies is supplied by local police. Secret Service is there to protect the candidate, whether it’s Sanders, Clinton, or Trump.

    For the record, I believe that elites have paid thugs to discredit BOTH Trump and Sanders, as both are threats to the establishment.

  3. Sami Jamil Jadallah  March 14, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Damn that is all we need some damn thug and misfit to make all hell break lose. What is Trump security is doing, how they allow such person to even come close.

  4. Sami Jamil Jadallah  March 14, 2016 at 9:32 am

    John. Bernie Sanders must come out and speak strongly against any close or far that makes any attempt to disrupt or interfere with Trump rallies making it clear that such behavior critically undermines his strong message for a change. The last thing this election need is a bunch of vigilantes on all sides. Let the man speak what is on his mind. He has a right to it. Trump has a strong message for millions of America and he has a the right to get his message across without having any disruptions…

  5. John C Durham  March 14, 2016 at 9:20 am

    MoveOn & BlackLivesMatter, George Soros’ fronts did the deed to throw the election against both Trump and Sanders, outsiders to the establishment. This is already widely known (except here for some reason).

  6. MoT  March 14, 2016 at 8:03 am

    Seeing as the electoral process is nothing more than a sick circus of lying clowns all I have to look forward to is either more of this sort of diversion or something so over the top that it will bring the hoi polloi back under the yoke. It’s as I’ve said for many many years. Most people don’t mind being slaves just so long as their particular slave master holds the whip.

  7. Foci  March 14, 2016 at 7:32 am

    Another thing to note is that Mr Trump is self funded, so he should be able to call the shots at the rallies because he is paying for them. It’s like having a big party with 10K people invited. If there are those there at his bought and paid for party that are crashing it and disrupting it, he has every right to bounce them out.

  8. Sami Jamil Jadallah  March 14, 2016 at 5:16 am

    While the First Amendment clearly provide freedom of speech and assembly it does have its limitation using the standard of “Clear and Present Danger” and for most we know” yelling fire in a crowded movie theater. Donald Trump like all other candidates has the right to speak and to hold assembly and it is not up to the crowd to decide whether his speech is “hate speech” or “incitement to violence”. It is up to the local police and local security authorities and their lawyers to decide when a candidate goes off the line. Trump has a clear message which resonate with millions of Americans who are angry, frustrated with government policies, who are fearful of not having a secure future after working all these years. To his credit and unlike other Republican candidates he is not beholding to the Israeli and Zionist lobbies of moneys and he did not scoop down to kiss the ass of Sheldon Adel son like Rubio and Cruze. Same standards of free speech should apply across the board whether it has to do with Black and White Issues, with Republican and Democratic Issues and whether is applies to Israel, which sad to say applies its own standards here in the US. Any criticism of Israel no matter how mild it is considered “hostile” and “anti-Semitic” shutting every one out of jobs and careers.

  9. DJ C  March 13, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    Free speech needs to be redefined as that which does not challenge the agenda of the New World Order. Anyone who says Trump incited this event needs to have his head checked. What happened was the Communist hooligans were scraping the barrel for an excuse to start violence. There was no hate speech of any kind. All Trump did was call it like it was. He explained the reality of the situation. But then #1 the cry babies couldn’t handle and #2 the agent provocateurs took advantage of an opportunity.

    The so-called Sanders supporters need to get their head screwed on because they were set up by the Clinton side and to take the blame for the violence.

    No, Trump did not say anything inflammatory. People who believe that, please go back to momma. Actually, my words are no more harsh than his. That’s right! Grow up or get out!

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