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Are controversial bus ads protected speech?

April 15, 2015

By Jeremy Quattlebaum, Student Voices staff writer

Throughout April, riders on Philadelphia’s public transportation system SEPTA may see an advertisement on buses linking Islam to Nazism.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has run ads that feature a Muslim religious leader conversing with Adolf Hitler, making the claim that anti-Semitism is entrenched in Islam and the religion’s holy book, the Quran. The group has run the ads in other cities, such as New York, San Francisco, Detroit and Miami, that have drawn vandalism and a public outcry from individuals and groups who find the ads offensive.

So why are the ads on the buses?

The reason is simple; they are protected speech. In June 2014, SEPTA rejected the ads, saying they violated the agency’s “anti-disparagement standard” that aims to curb inflammatory messages plastered on city buses and subways. The ban applies to advertising that “disparages” any person or group “on the basis of race, religious belief, age, sex, alienage, national origin, sickness, or disability.”

SEPTA contended that the ads could incite harm or cause problems for its Muslim employees or riders.

The AFDI sued the transit agency, arguing that its First Amendment right to free speech was being violated. Pamela Geller, head of the AFDI, said to Newsworks.org: “"It's not about AFDI, or our ads, but the liberties we are guaranteed under the First Amendment. This is not our first win against government agencies who arbitrarily silence and censor truths.”

“The First Amendment protects everyone, the hateful and the loving alike,” said Ryan Tack-Hooper, an attorney for the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations. “Instead of suppressing dishonest and offensive speech, the American tradition is to respond with speech of our own. You can be sure we will.”

In March 2015, U.S. District Judge Mitchell Goldberg found that SEPTA had violated the First Amendment rights of AFDI and said that it must run the ads. Goldberg wrote, “Although SEPTA’s concerns are not immaterial, it cannot properly claim a legitimate interest in enforcing an unconstitutional law.”

This isn’t the first time that AFDI has won the right to display the ads. New York’s transit agency was forced to run the ads when Geller challenged a ban on them. A judge ruled in 2012 that the AFDI’s First Amendment right had been violated.

Since then, the transit agency has run a disclaimer, saying the advertisement does not reflect its views.

What do you think?

How can transit agencies balance the right of free speech with the objective of not offending their riders? Should controversial or offensive speech be protected? Why? What did Judge Goldberg mean when he wrote, “Although SEPTA's concerns are not immaterial, it cannot properly claim a legitimate interest in enforcing an unconstitutional law”? Join the discussion and let us know what you think!
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Comments
10/15/2018
murrieta, CA
sarah
jabro/ mca
In my opinion I think that buses should have ads, but it shouldn't have anything to do to offend people, just keep your opinion to yourself instead of making others feel ashamed of themselves.

10/13/2018
Murrieta
Christine
Jabro/MCA
To be honest, any type of offensive speech should be publicly displayed of you have an opinion it'll be best to just keep it to yourself because it clearly causes problems. for the bus to condone such ads are their choice but seems like everyone needs to relearn what our first amendment really means

4/19/2018
murrieta,ca
leslie
jabro/ mca
these offensive ads are misappropriation of free speech and should be removed it crosses establishment clause of the first amendment. its flat out discriminiation.

4/12/2018
Murrieta/CA
Megan
Jabro/MCA
Controversial or offensive speech in regards to religion, race, or sexual orientation should not be protected by our First Amendment. It is unfair for people to be blasted with upsetting banners or advertisements when they are simply minding their own business and carrying out daily tasks. But also, I think it goes both ways. I also don't believe that people should be allowed to have rallies in support of those topics in places like the transit where others are just trying to travel from place to place. We would be better off to reserve certain areas for these actions.

3/13/2018
murrieta
jonathan
Jabro
I feel like if the people who own the bus want that ad on their bus they can have it that is freedom of speech and they shouldn’t have to take it down cause one group doesn’t like it because if they do that they are taking away others rights to satisfy others which is not he way America works everyone has the same freedoms.

11/27/2017
murrieta
Parker Belle
MCA Jabro
These bus ads are freedom of speech and they do not discriminate the people who say they discriminate are the people interpreting the ads that way. These ads may have more than one meaning and if people dont like the ads they dint have to ride the bus or they could just ignore the ads.

10/20/2017
Murrieta Ca
Justin
Jabro/MCA
Controversial speech falls under free speech, even if its morally wrong they should be allowed to say what they want. The advertisement should be protected because its constitutional that people have free speech.

10/20/2017
Murrieta/CA
Kiara
Jabro/MCA
Controversial speech is still free speech. Buses should be able to use whatever ads they want.

10/18/2017
murrieta ca
kendall
jabro
i think buses should be able to use ads its the persons choice whether or not they get offended by the ad

10/18/2017
murrieta ca
jaydee
jabro
They can't because it is the freedom of speech. No because that would be an endless amount of topics.

10/18/2017
Murrieta/CA
Dalen
Jabro/MCA
I think that it is a good thing that transit buses have ads on them. They should be allowed to advertise anything they want. In addition to them advertising, the people should like that because it lets them know what goes on in that area.

10/17/2017
Murrieta ca
Jacob
Jabro/MCA
It's not the transits job to avoid offending the riders. The riders shouldn't be offended so easily and if they are then they can suck it up like the rest of us and deal with it.

10/17/2017
murrieta ca
spencer
jabro MCA
yes i think it is protected because bus companies should have the right to advertise whatever they want on their own busses

10/16/2017
murrieta
porsha
mr.jabro/mca
the ads are free speech and are protected by the law

10/16/2017
murrieta
velma
jabro
I think that no they cant really control it but then can have the riders use different vocabulary to make it better. The should say what they think but try to help this current generation build for it

10/13/2017
Murrieta
Allyssa
Jabro/MCA
It shouldn't be the transits job to avoid offending the riders. The riders just shouldn't get offended. If anything they should encourage the transit to put up all kinds of ads so people know what happen on buses and in general. Offensive speech should be protected because need to know whats going on in the daily world. Whether that be sexual harassment on the bus or someone helping an old lady on the bus. The people shouldn't get offended and the transits should have a right to put whatever they please in their ads. I believe he meant that a government agency shouldn't need to silence their views and opinions on things because a few people get offended by the ads.

4/19/2017
murrieta
zoe maldonado
jabro MCA
When it comes to controversial issues such as this the bus company cannot win. If they run the ads they might lose riders that are offended and if they don't run the ads they could get banned because they are violating the first amendment. I think that you shouldn't force anyone to run a ad based on the first amendment because while they do have freedom to speech they don’t have control over the bus company. There are plenty of other ways other than bus ads the AFDI can use to advertise their beliefs. The company should have the right to refuse the offensive advertisement because it could cause harm to their customers well being. Judge Goldberg believes that the AFDI's freedom of speech was violated but it's understandable why the bus would refuse advertisement

3/8/2017
Murrieta, California
Zachary
Mr. Jabro/MCA
I feel that is not the job of transit agencies to avoid offending their riders, in fact, I feel, that as a part of the government, they should be wholly encouraging things that challenge views and beliefs of the current generation, much like anti-smoking ads, anti-alcohol ads, etc. I feel that controversial or "offensive" speech is so extremely important to our current generation, as we see so much of it curbed on the feelings of a few people, even if it may be valid. I feel that he meant that a government agency can not silence or monitor things among speech based on the opinions of a few, in fact the same law that protects the ads, is the same that protects their right to air their complaints about everything.

3/7/2017
Murrieta/ CA
Chandler
Mr. Jabro/ MCA
I understand the first amendment guarantees the right to free speech for everyone. However, discriminatory phrases or ads should not be allowed to be advertised on on things like public transportation. There needs to be a filter that the ads are run through guaranteeing that no race, religion, or gender are to be discriminated against. This would be to ensure that none of the above can be offended and to make sure their freedom of religion rights and that their pursuit of happiness is protected.

3/6/2017
Murrieta/CA
Lauryn
Mr.Jabro/MCA
The ads are free speech and are protected by the law . The bus company can make a decision to put the ad up or not and return the money even for the ad. SEPTAs ban was put in place for ads as such

3/1/2017
Murrieta/CA
Owen
Mr.Jabro/MCA
These offensive ads are a complete misappropriation of free speech and should be removed for two main reasons: this crosses the “establishment clause” of the first amendment and these are government owned buses--and this is flat out discrimination; it is propaganda. In the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson said “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief”. These hateful, propagandistic, anti-islamic ads the AFDI spews out conflicts with this document and the establishment clause. For future resolutions by the transit agency of Philadelphia,(government entity, thereby free of religious entitlements), the strategy for selecting ads should adhere to free speech but should also consider other inputs, like how it affects the civil liberties of its viewers. Free speech, no matter how offensive, should always be protected; however, if it infringes on other liberties or endangers others, it should be throttled(see Schenk v US, 1919). Furthermore, district judge John Mitchell Goldberg does not include all of the first amendment in is consideration. Ultimately, the AFDI is trying to legalize persecution and discrimination which is NOT freedom of speech at the stage

11/21/2015
Diamond Bar/ CA
ClaireP4
Wong/Lorbeer
I believe that even though the ad is offensive, it is protected by the first amendment, therefore transit agencies can't really do anything about this type of advertisement. The fact of the matter is, you have a choice to ride SEPTA and if you are offended by the ad, boycott them. Personally, if I saw any type of company running the ad, I would be upset by it but, since the ad doesn't put anyone in danger, unfortunately it is protected by the first amendment. Judge Goldberg meant when he wrote, "Although SEPTA's concerns are not immaterial, it cannot properly claim a legitimate interest in enforcing an unconstitutional law” that even though the ad is controversial, SEPTA can not stop the advertisement because it is not unconstitutional.

10/1/2015
Murrieta
Austenh
Jabro
I think running offensive ads on the buses could cause alot of controversy and may hurt the bus company as riders may think they chose to run those ads. Though those things are protected within the first amendment of free speech.

6/7/2015
stroudsburg, pa
ava
Hanna/sjhs
you cannot limit others freedom of speech just because some riders could get offended. anything someone says is almost guaranteed to offend a certain group of people, and that can't be helped. I think judge Goldberg meant that while these may have offended some people, overall it is freedom of speech.

6/5/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Taylor
Stroudsburg JHS
I think that even though the ads may have been technically constitutional, they were inappropriate. Anyone should know that advertising stereotypes of religion is unacceptable.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg/ PA
Karissa B.
Hanna/ Stroudsburg Junior High School
To balance the first amenment right with the object to avoid offending some of your riders is an oxymoron. The first amendment allows every American citizen the right to speak freely without any objection. It's almost impossible to do so without one thinking they could. One drver's opinion is not the majority and so not every driver will post such an advertisement. In the modern world today, one could see plenty of allusions to racism of all races. It is not uncommon to see it in different forms of writing, speech, ecetera in all of today's daily life. What is the difference of seeing it on once again another form of it? In fact, it is not even considerably the agency itself if not every driver is forced to do such. Of course forms of offensive speech like racism should be protected, but it doesn't mean that it would be lessened any much more. There's just no point in trting to prevent something that has been going on for years, even if it is offensive. That's just today's society.

6/4/2015
Stoudsburg Pennsylvania
Alefiyah
Mr. Hanna SJHS
I believe that SEPTA has the right to reject ads that the company may not want on their buses. The public buses in Philadelphia are SEPTA's private property. The company has the right to say what ads go on their property or not.The AFDI legally has the right to display ads of their opinion or view points of Islam on unowned property, or property that allows these ads to be posted. Based on the first amendment, people have the freedom of speech to express their different view points on different subjects, even though some view points may offend others. Therefore, ads that are controversial and offensive legally should be protected too.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg, PA
Joel
Mr Hanna/Stroudsburg JHS
I believe that controversial bus ads should be protected and are undoubtedly protected speech. The first amendment guarantees the right of free speech. Denying transit agencies the right to free speech due to people unhappy with these ads is unconstitutional. Although people may be unhappy with these ads, the government should not be allowed to mitigate them because doing so violates the first amendment. The option of lessening the severity of the ads or stopping them altogether should only be reserved for the agencies themselves. Also, the government does not need to stop these ads as people unhappy with these ads can counteract them through boycotts and going on strike.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg/PA
Adam
Mr.Hanna/sjhs
I think they should keep these buses on the road. Some people don't have a TV. So this is a great way for them to stay informed. And there is the matter of freedom of speech.

6/4/2015
Stroudsburg/Pennslyvania
Luke
Mr. Hanna/SJHS
I personally do not think that the bus ads were "inappropriate" or whatever you want to call them. I think that they were just like any other ad. As long as they weren't racist, sexist, or anything like that it is fine. I am glad that they were forced to put up the ads because it was stupid for them to refuse.

6/3/2015
Irving Texas
Hans
Nimitz
Even though bus agencies hold a certain level of accountability for their passengers and strive to maintain their safety, you can't limit others Freedom of speech on the basis of 'offending riders". You could find at least one group that was offended by any ad you would want to put up religious or not so going through and trying to censor or prevent certain ads is asinine and pointless. Judge Goldberg meant that while these concerns are legitimate, you can't go against the Constitution. In short, like it or not, you can't limit others Freedom of Speech in these circumstances.

6/2/2015
Irving/Texas
Ali
Ms.Bradley/Nimitz
The first amendment protects speech, not feelings, so despite the fact that the message might offend riders in not relevant. Since it is a public bus they do not necessarily have total control over the ads on it.Controversial speech needs to stay protected for the sake of American liberty. If there a decision that this particular bus ad is not aloud just because it is dislike then the lines for advertising would be blurred for future references.

6/2/2015
Irving,Texas
Anahi
Bradley/Nimitz
The transit agency is a public service, and so it has the right to protect free speech even if they don’t agree with it. However in question to hate speech with the whole advertisement shouldn’t be protected since it is a federal crime and it shouldn’t be on display anywhere in public.Yet when Judge Goldberg found out that SEPTA had violated the First Amendment rights of AFDI, Goldberg clearly stated that although the First Amendment does allow you to say whatever you want, it doesn’t protect you from the responses or comments of what other people are saying giving.

6/2/2015
Irving/Texas
Abraham
Bradley/Nimitz
The transit agencies can come to an agreement with the AFDI, about the limit they are able to stay in. If the riders are to be offended or even engage in harmful activity then the ads should be taken down. Even if speech is offensive, or controversial, it should still be protected because of the 1st Amendment which is one of the things that is great about the United States of America. Judge Goldberg meant that, even though their reason of trying to stop the ads was for good, they could not properly enforce an unconstitutional law banning the AFDI's ads.

5/31/2015
Irving/Texas
Kamille
Bradley/Nimitz
Everything this world has and is has offended at least someone. What we find significant and serious to us happens to be a condemning, sinful issue to another. But that does not mean we can't find a common ground for the sake of peace. I am not sure the AFDI fully comprehends how offensive their actions are to zealous followers of specific faiths, and if they do that is a completely different topic on the morality of humanity. I understand the issue at hand and its political debate but I am unsure if I can provide a solution to the dilemma. I think if the ads are condemning a subsection of humanity or a religion in a negative way as well as being undeniably offensive, I think it should not surface to such a public place like public transportation. If only these issues were never actual issues. If only everyone was as accepting and as compassionate to others as they want people to be to them.

5/31/2015
Irving/Texas
Maggie
Bradley/Nimitz
Since the transit agency is public service, however it is bound to protect free speech even if it doesn't agree. I think that itis reasonable to consider the advertisement in question the hate speech, which is a federal crime in itself and should be prohibited from display on public transportation. An advertisement with explicit profanity or a more directly disparaging message could now be permitted, because of the precedent established by the district.

5/25/2015
Irving/Texas
Rebecca
Bradley/Nimitz
Since the transit agency is a public service, it is bound to protect free speech even if it does not agree with it. However, I think that it is reasonable to consider the advertisement in question hate speech, which is a federal crime in itself and should absolutely be prohibited from display on public transportation. An advertisement with explicit profanity or a more directly disparaging message could now be permitted because of the precedent established by this district ruling, and that is not right.

5/19/2015
Irving/TX
Sajni
Bradley/Nimitz
Unfortunately, the only thing that that transit company can do to balance the right of free speech and not offending their riders is to have the disclaimer running with the ad. Although these kinds of offensive ads shouldn't be protected in the first place as they are hitting a very big and sensitive subject for many while also being very offensive towards another major religion with very devote followers.

5/15/2015
Irving/Tx
Sophia
Bradley/Nimitz
The transit agencies are public domain, so while the ads are offensive, childish, and made in poor taste, there is no reason they shouldn't run. Tack-Hooper was right; If we begin censoring everything we don't agree with, no one will be able to say or do anything without stepping on someone else's toes and eventually our entire country will fall completely silent. The great thing about our freedom of speech is that it gives us the ability to debate and argue and have an ongoing conversation - constructive or otherwise - about issues we see in our lives and our country. Pamela Geller’s ridiculous claim that these discriminatory ads are "truths", their ignorance is protected. But to use an old cliche, the phrase “with great power comes great responsibility” comes to mind. We the free people need to use common sense when speaking out about something we feel passionately about, because there are ways of expressing radical or unpopular or ignorant views without being rude or hurtful. That being said, for those being affected by these radical or unpopular or ignorant views should probably take them with a grain of salt. Not everyone is going to agree with you all the time.

5/13/2015
Irving/Tx
Eddie
Bradley/Nimitz
Religious persecution is what starts wars. I don't think the AFDI understands the nature of insulting a religion that has very Passionate followers. but for a second lets flip the coin. look at this from someone who thinks that Christianity has anti-Jewish views in the bible. If they plastered ads with jesus talking to Hitler and said the same words that they wrote on there ad, there would be an outcry of people complaining that if offends them. Also the first amendment allows for you to say what you want, it doesn't allow you to be protected from the response the people reading it are giving.

5/5/2015
Irving/Tx
Chellandria
Bradley/Nimitz
They can balance the right of speech and without offending the riders by letting them know that these are not their advertisements and do not have any control over these particular ads. Everyone have the right to practice what they believe in,because of the First Amendment, freedom of speech. People who are riding the bus also have the right to feel offended by any means,but they could as well advertise their disagreement on the ads that are against them and offending them. Both controversial and the offensive speech should be protected due to the fact that everyone are affected from both sides and everyone opinions should be considered when making these decisions. SEPTA concerns are somewhat important,but you can't just cut off someone rights because they're offending a specific group of people. It is against the people's right to stop them from advertising their opinions-you cannot take away anyone's rights, everyone doesn't have the same beliefs or morals but most situations you should think about who will be hurt in the outcome.

5/5/2015
Irving/Texas
David
Bradley/Nimitz
Transit agencies can balance the right of free speech with the means to not offend their riders by providing a disclaimer; it happens on tv, after all, when lewd or inappropriate tv shows are run on certain channels. Morally, controversial or offensive speech shouldn’t be protected because it’s not socially accepted. It tends to cross lines and open the door for discrimination. Despite the fact, controversial speech is protected on the books by the constitution and will continue to be upheld by all levels of government. In addressing SEPTA’s concerns, Judge Goldberg meant that even though SEPTA’s concerns aren’t something to ignore, SEPTA cannot legally ban the advertisements being put onto their buses; it’s a matter of how it is promoted as free speech and protected under the 1st Amendment.

4/29/2015
Irving/Tx
Jennipher
Bradley/Nimitz
The only way that transit companies can balance the right of freedom of speech without offending their riders is to do exactly what SEPTA has done, run a disclaimer to ensure that all people riding these transportation units or working for the agency know that these are not the views of the company itself. Controversial and offensive speech must be protected because all of those statements are based purely on opinion. One person may consider these ads religiously offensive while someone else may agree with them and that means that the decision cannot be based off of what one person assumes rather than the other. When SEPTA claims that it will not run advertisements that disparage any person or group based off of a list of criteria they are simply stating an unconstitutional law. No matter what the circumstance, the First Amendment protects all freedoms of speech in this manner whether or not they are considered offensive. The company cannot stop someone from publishing their beliefs just because they do not agree with them even if those ideals may be controversial.

4/28/2015
Irving/TX
Rabab
Bradley/Nimitz
These type of comparison ads between religion and ideology should not be promoted publicly. Moreover showing a religious leader making such a claim against any religion/race can cause disturbance and havoc in the country. Every individual has their own views and opinions, so most of the people who don’t like to get involved in these religious issues, tends to ignore these kind of ads, but on the other hand it can be very offensive to others. These ads should not be posted on the buses, and according to me it does not violate the freedom of speech. Even though there is freedom of speech but the constitution does not allow you to speak and post ads against any religion or race, it just gives you rights to share your opinions. The transit agencies should go through the ads first and make sure that it does not go against discrimination, racism, sexism and other similar laws under the banner of freedom of speech. This would allow posters to post their ads without offending the transit riders. Yes controversial and offensive speech should be protected as it can draw vandalism and public outcry from individuals and groups who find the ads offensive, as stated in the article. In my opinion, Judge Goldberg meant that as the constitution give right of freedom of speech he can not stop AFDI from posting these ads on the public transit. I believe that he was wrong due to the reasons, I mentioned earlier.

4/28/2015
Irving/Texas
Brittany
Bradley/Nimitz
Transit agencies should be able to decide which ads can be shown on their buses, and they should find the line between what's appropriate and what could be deemed offensive. With ads regarding sensitive issues like religion, they should have the right to not allow certain ads to be shown if they will lead to a loss of costumers and/or controversies. Controversial and offensive speech should be considered a form of hate speech rather than free speech and shouldn't be allowed, because there is a difference between voicing your opinions and condemning those with views different from your own. I think Judge Goldberg is saying that in a situation like this it seems like the right to free speech was violated, but in this case it was for a good reason.

4/27/2015
Irving/Texas
Dana
Bradley/Nimitz
When it comes to controversial issues such as this the bus company cannot win. If they run the ads they might lose riders that are offended and if they don't run the ads they could get banned because they are violating the first amendment. I think that you shouldn't force anyone to run a ad based on the first amendment because while they do have freedom to speech they don’t have control over the bus company. There are plenty of other ways other than bus ads the AFDI can use to advertise their beliefs. The company should have the right to refuse the offensive advertisement because it could cause harm to their customers well being. Judge Goldberg believes that the AFDI's freedom of speech was violated but it's understandable why the bus would refuse advertisement

4/23/2015
Irving/Texas
Jamon
Bradley/Nimitz
Transit agencies have the power or should have the power to choose and have a say on what ads can be promoted on their buses. We all get that people should not put certain things on ads they are not suppose to or have a different meaning on an ethnicity background. As far as that is concerned with the first amendment is really limited an really as no say when it comes to discrepancy of any sort. An what Judge Goldberg is saying that SEPTA has a right to be concerned but trying to enforce an unconstitutional law was something that SEPTA knew there were not going to win.

4/22/2015
Irving/Texas
Jayden
Bradley/Nimitz
The transit agencies should have the power to choose what ads get displayed on their transport, so the placing of offensive ads that misappropriate the first amendment's "free speech" are avoided. The plastering of controversial and offensive advertisements on public transport is a form of discrimination that should not be protected.

4/21/2015
Irving/TX
Carol
Bradley/Nimitz
The transit agencies should be able to choose which ads get displayed on their busses. This is more than an issue of freedom of speech, this is blatant discrimination which should not be allowed on public government property. There is a limit to how far someone'special first ammendment right goes. We already know that the first ammendment right is basically nonexistent when it comes to slandering the government in times of war, so in times of civil unrest these discriminatory acts should also be punished and not allowed. Judge Goldberg realized that though the busses had a legitimate reason for complaining, the AFDI did have their first ammendment rights infringed upon.

4/17/2015
Irving/Texas
Brian Vigen
Bradley/Nimitz
These offensive ads are a complete misappropriation of free speech and should be removed for two main reasons: this crosses the “establishment clause” of the first amendment and these are government owned buses--and this is flat out discrimination; it is propaganda. In the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson said “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief”. These hateful, propagandistic, anti-islamic ads the AFDI spews out conflicts with this document and the establishment clause. For future resolutions by the transit agency of Philadelphia,(government entity, thereby free of religious entitlements), the strategy for selecting ads should adhere to free speech but should also consider other inputs, like how it affects the civil liberties of its viewers. Free speech, no matter how offensive, should always be protected; however, if it infringes on other liberties or endangers others, it should be throttled(see Schenk v US, 1919). Furthermore, district judge John Mitchell Goldberg does not include all of the first amendment in is consideration. Ultimately, the AFDI is trying to legalize persecution and discrimination which is NOT freedom of speech at that stage.

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