Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Blogger in the hierarchy of rights

There is a hierarchy of rights which the Constitution protects.
It is important for blogers you and I to determine where bloggers stand in the hierarchy of rights.
Why is this important?
In pursuit of the exercse of our rights to free expression, or free speech in the blog, we can stumble into legal issues or obstacles which may require a determination whether what we blog is constitutionally protected, or falls under the realm of un-protected speech.
If blogs fall under un-protected speech, then it give rise to legal consequences, like suits for criminal libel, or for sedition, for for indecent publication.
If one is blogging about the birds and the bees, then there may be nothing to worry about.
But what if you are a blogger engaged in criticisms of the actions of others?
What if you are a blogger making critical comments on matters that interests the public at large?
You could end up facing a libel charge.
You need to determine where your blog falls under the hierarchy of free-speech rights because it will have an impact on your legal defense.
In decisions of our Supreme Court, it has been ruled that freedom of expression ranks in the hierarchy of constitutional rights higher than property rights.
Therefore the norms for regulation of expression (like blogging) places more stringent limits on state action.
Freedom of expression or freedom of speech and even press freedom enjoys a higher rank in the hierarchy of constitutionally protected rights.

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