Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Debate Preparation

Yesterday afternoon, I decided to wear pants. For some reason, I felt as though my legs were lonely. After all, I had only worn shorts for the past two weeks. It was a horrible decision. Even inside the air-conditioned rooms, I was extremely over heated. Unless the weather changes drastically very soon, I doubt I will even wear my kaki pants. I hope they don’t feel too left out.

The morning section of our class began much like any other day. We discussed the Supreme Court cases that we were assigned the night before. Most of these cases focused on the rights of the state and federal government in regulating obscene materials. Under the due process clause of the 14th amendment, the states are required to abide by the principles set forth by the Bill of Rights. Therefore, the states are required to protect the freedom of speech when creating laws. In these cases, the court had to determine whether the laws put in place by the states to regulate the distribution of obscene materials was constitutional. To determine this, justices of the Supreme Court first had to define obscenity. Basically, something is obscene if it contributes negatively to society. Since different areas have different societal values and expectations, it is best for each community to decide if something is obscene. Therefore, the Supreme Court upheld most of the laws put in place by the state government to regulate obscenity.

In the afternoon, we broke up into groups to prepare for a debate. My group had to argue a specific case relating to the issue of obscenity with respect to freedom of speech. In this imaginary case, the Johnsons who live in Texas recently found out that their 18-year-old daughter started making hard-core pornographic films after she graduated high school. The Johnsons found out that Candy Films was distributing this film nation-wide to stores and on the Internet. They convinced the district authority to charge Candy Films with violation of federal code 18 USC section 14565. Candy films feels that this statute violates their First Amendment rights. 

Our group must argue that federal code 18 USC section 14565 is constitutional. Fortunately, we will be able to use many of the rulings from the court cases we discussed earlier this morning to support our arguments. I’m sure the debate will be intense and competitive. It will be interesting to see who wins.

As the days progress, my workload will continue to increase. In addition to the daily readings, I will have to start working on my research paper and prepare for debates. I will definitely have to limit my social time and instead focus on schoolwork. It will be a challenge, but also an opportunity to grow academically. 

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