The right of free speech is guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution. That’s a concept that most of us learn in grade school. What might often be glossed over, or overlooked, is that there are limits.
The fact is that the amendment doesn’t guarantee free speech at all. What it does is prohibit government from making any law “abridging the freedom of speech.” Over the course of hundreds of years, however, laws and courts have established prohibitions of certain types of speech. Opinions vary on the scope of the list, but most experts agree it includes such things as:
- Use of obscenities