How far does the first amendment go?


JOPLIN, Mo. — The first amendment gives you the right of free speech. But after the recent protests at the capitol the question lies how far is too far?

Bill Fleischaker – Attorney, said, “It’s the old you can’t shout fire in a crowded theater example.”

Following the protest at the capitol last week, many people who participated found themselves without a job.

“Protected speech in the first amendment area, generally in this context has to make a political statement”

Fleischaker says although these people have the right of free speech it crosses the line when it’s likely to invoke violence.

“You have to look back at the issues is it disruptive, is it inciting violence and so forth, and those are the limitations you see on first amendment speech.”

He adds while he believes people who didn’t charge into the capitol had the right to assemble outside. If you work for a private employer those actions could still cost you your job.

“If there are pictures of you protesting outside the Capitol on January sixth, even though you were minding your own business, if you have a private employer, the private employer can say I don’t agree with what you were standing for.”

Working for a private employer isn’t the only way your freedom of speech is limited. It’s also limited within the work place.

“You can say I support Trump. But if you for instance are going around the floor of your, or the shop where you are employed, and you’re not, not tending to your job, or you’re going on break and when you go on break, you’re distributing pamphlets to other people in your building, it, it disrupts the ordinary flow of work it would not be protected.”

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