The Supreme Court has ruled that censorshipA. may be used by presidents in situations in which sedition is involvedB. may be used in cases in which words are maliciousC. may be upheld only in cases...

The Supreme Court has ruled that censorship
A. may be used by presidents in situations in which sedition is involved
B. may be used in cases in which words are malicious
C. may be upheld only in cases of extreme emergency
D. may be upheld when Congress has granted the president legal authority to censor
E. is always unconstitutional

which is the correct answer? thanks!

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The best answer to this question is Option C.  This answer is based on the Supreme Court case of Schenck v. United States, which was decided in 1919.  In that case, a man was convicted of violating the Espionage Act for distributing leaflets in which he encouraged men to avoid the draft that was being conducted to get men to fight in World War I.  Schenck argued that this law violated his rights under the First Amendment.  The Supreme Court ruled against him. 

In its opinion, the Court argued that times of war called for different rules than those that applied in times of peace.  Justice Holmes said that

When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort … that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right.

This implies that censorship in times of extreme emergencies such as war is justified, making Option C the best answer.

Sources:

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