In America, you can say pretty much whatever you want but there are some important limitations of which one should be aware. These are commonly referred to as Time, Place and Manner restrictions. In other words, you can't drove up and down a residential neighborhood at 2am using a bull horn asking your neighbors to vote for your favorite candidate. Nor would we be happy were someone to decide to exercise their first amendment rights by setting-up a platform in the middle of a busy intersection at rush hour. Forum Analysis is the name given for an approach used by the Supreme Court in resolving many First Amendment controversies. It is based on considerations other than the message of speech. "Forums" are the communications mediums in how and where speech is communicated, such as handbilling, parading, picketing, marching, streets, sidewalks, and parks. The courts have identified four kinds of forums.
Traditional Public Forum
These are places like public parks, student unions, capitol and other government buildings, and street corners where people have always gathered assembled.
Designated Public Form
These are places created by the government for people to assemble. These might include civic auditoriums, community meeting halls, and other public venues owned by the government. Time, place and manner restrictions can be more limited here than in the traditional public forum.
There are other public areas where speech can be greatly limited. These would include prisons, military bases and transportation areas such as train stations, airports, and shipping areas. Even here, local governments are encouraged to set aside some area where people may exercise free speech. For instance, at some national airports special areas have been created which allow people to pass out leaflets etc.
There are no guarantees of free speech on private property. Private businesses, shopping malls, homes and other areas have their own discretion about what they will permit.
Lawful order of the Police
There is one more restriction on public speech and the ability to gather news information. The police have the power to give a lawful order in times where it is necessary for them to do their jobs. They cannot forbid all newsgathering or speech, but they can restrict you from coming past a certain area that they designate. The following is an excerpt from State v Lashinsky
Legitimate concerns for the public safety dictate that, in an emergency situation such as that presented here, it is the officer vested with public authority rather than a civilian bystander who must define what conduct is to be allowed. "Failure, even though conscientious, to obey directions of a police officer, not exceeding his authority, may interfere with the public order and lead to a breach of the peace."Free Speech Exception
The ability to speak in public places is controlled by time, place and manner restrictions. Public forums enjoy the most free speech and private property the least. The lawful orders of police must be obeyed.
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