1. What sorts of speech do we protect and what sorts do we regulate? How much free speech do you think we should allow in the United States? Would you allow a white racist to give a speech on this campus? What about a member of Al Queda, an advocate for drug decriminalization, a cult leader?
2. The Christian Coalition is advocating a Religious Freedom Amendment to
the Constitution which reads:
To secure the people’s right to acknowledge God according to the
dictates of conscience, neither the United States nor any state shall
establish any official religion, but the people’s right to pray and to
recognize their religious beliefs, heritage, or traditions on public
property including schools, shall not be infringed. Neither the United
States nor any state shall require persons to join in prayer or other
religious activity, prescribe school prayers, discriminate against religion,
or deny equal access to a benefit on account of religion.
Do you see the Religious Freedom Amendment as an infringement of the First Amendment, or a logical result of it?
3. The perennial trouble between war and civil liberties came to a head in the twentieth century in early 1942 when hundreds of Japanese, many of them American citizens, were sent to concentration camps and kept there for the duration of the war. In 1944 the Supreme Court held this action to be constitutional, within “the war power of Congress and the Executive.” What do many decades of experience since 1942 tell us about what we should do in this post–September 11 era to balance the needs of war against the demands of civil liberties?