The first amendment to the Constitution of the United States provides that "Congress shall make no law ...abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble..." While the terms of the first amendment appear to be all embracing, its application has never been absolute. Its guarantees have always been subject to regulation by the state wherever they endangered the safety or welfare of the public. The fundamental issue involved in all first amendment problems involving free expression is the determination of the point at which the rights of the individual stop and the rights of organized society to protect itself begin. The Constitution places on the courts the duty to draw the line between these two conflicting interests. The courts must, in each instance, ascertain which of the two interests require the greater protection.
The Clear and Present Danger Standard: Its Present Viability,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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