Hierarchy of Speech
A research paper on the political science topic of the hierarchy of speech should be custom written by a company that understands the many different levels of speech that are protected by the government.
At the top of the hierarchy of speech is political speech, which enjoys the highest degree of protection even if it is offensive to the majority, as in the case of Nazi or Klu Klux Klan speech. It is generally considered to be speech that advocates a political viewpoint, and overlaps with freedom of the press in journalistic situations. It is possible to limit the circumstances or situations in which political speech is offered, but any attempt at regulation is subject to the strictest scrutiny by the court. A government regulation that attempts to abridge the freedom of political speech must be content neutral, must further a compelling government interest unrelated to speech suppression and must operate with minimal interference to the First Amendment. Very few government regulations have been able to pass this stringent test when the speech is categorized as political.
Hierarchy of Speech and Religion
Religious speech is next in the hierarchy of protected speech. Because of the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution's Separation Clause, religious speech can be abridged in specific public venues or circumstances in order to prevent public funds from being used to advocate a particular religious viewpoint. The Separation Clause acts as a competing interest that tempers the full application of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. This heightened control of religious speech does not operate as a content abridgment, but rather as a content-neutral curtailment of the locations where religious speech can be engaged in. Any attempt at content Bridge is subject to the strictest scrutiny by the courts similar to that imposed on attempts to limit political speech.
Lower Level of Protection in the Hierarchy
Commercial speech enjoys a lower level of protection in the hierarchy. It is generally defined as speech that proposes a commercial transaction. Commercial speech has the following characteristics:
- It can be regulated both as to content, in order to prevent fraud or misrepresentation
- As to location, in order to prevent harassing solicitation.
- The Supreme Court likens commercial speech to a property right, which can then be regulated through application of the Commerce Clause, which operates as a competing interest to the First Amendment.