Selected Articles on Censorship of Speech and the Press

Selected Articles on Censorship of Speech and the Press

Selected Articles on Censorship of Speech and the Press

Selected Articles on Censorship of Speech and the Press

Excerpt

Censorship has been used, and as often abused, thru all the ages. From almost the beginning of recorded history those in authority, anxious to preserve the status quo, have used censorship as a means of restraining the utterances and suppressing the ideas of revolutionists, reformers, and advanced thinkers. Few students of history doubt that the net results of the sum total of the world's experience with censorship have been to produce far more harm than good, yet few people today are willing to abandon entirely all forms of censorship, tho its more drastic forms have long since been abandoned in most of the more advanced nations.

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press, altho comparatively new principles in the history of the world, have meant very different things at different times and in different countries. While they have been included in our Federal and State Constitutions, they have been interpreted by our courts to mean different things at different times. This, of course, has been true of many other provisions of our constitutions, for, as Justice Holmes has said, "The provisions of the Constitution are not mathematical formulas having their essence in their form; they are organic living institutions transplanted from English soil."

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press have never been construed to be absolute rights, but on the contrary, they have always been interpreted to permit of many restrictions and limitations. In the United States today censorship, or some restriction and limitation on the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, is now a live public question. In this year of 1930 a Con-

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