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Important Terms

Important definitions of terms relevant to First Amendment law.

1. Time, Place, Manner: "a restriction on the time, place or manner of expression that is justified when it is neutral as to content and serves a significant government interest and leaves open ample alternative channels of communication." SOURCE: FindLaw Dictionary

2. Unprotected Speech: includes obscenity, fraud and incitements to violence. SOURCE: "A Practical Guide to Media Law" by Ashley Messenger. 

3. Censorship: is the suppression of words, images or ideas that are deemed 'offensive' by the government or private pressure groups and succeeds when people impose their personal political or moral values on others. SOURCE: American Civil Liberties Union

4. Permanent Injunction: "a court order that a person or entity takes certain actions or refrain from certain activities. A permanent injunction is typically issued once a lawsuit over the underlying activity is resolved, as distinguished from a preliminary injunction, which is issued while the lawsuit is pending." SOURCE: Cornell Law

5. Prior Restraint: "in First Amendment law, a prior restraint is government action that prohibits speech or other expression before it can take place.  There are two common forms of prior restraints. The first is a statute or regulation that requires a speaker to acquire a permit or license before speaking, and the second is a judicial injunction that prohibits certain speech. Both types of prior restraint are strongly disfavored, and, with some exceptions, generally unconstitutional." SOURCE: Cornell Law

6. Strict Scrutiny: "is a form of judicial review that courts use to determine the constitutionality of certain laws. To pass strict scrutiny, the legislature must have passed the law to further a “compelling governmental interest” and must have narrowly tailored the law to achieve that interest." SOURCE: Cornell Law


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April 18, 2016

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Lindsay Maizland

American University

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