SANTA CLARITA Free speech is a right of all U.S. citizens. It was guaranteed to us in the Bill of Rights since the earliest days of our republic. But do we really know what it means?
Over the past 230 years, lawmakers have sought to define it, the Supreme Court has interpreted it, scholars have debated it, and citizens have both benefited from it and been befuddled by it. What started out as a fairly simple concept that defined a fundamental protection of our citizens and of our democracy has mutated over the years into a very complicated matter. From restrictions against yelling Fire! in a crowded theater, to the handling by police and the military of 1960¹s Vietnam war protests, to protection of the U.S. flag, to re-interpretations of our rights as a result of 9/11 and the enactment of the Patriot Act, it is clear that freedom of speech is not an absolute. And, it is clearly misunderstood.
A presentation by College of the Canyons professor, Dr. Robert Brode, at 7 p.m., November 21, at the college¹s Performing Arts Center, will explore the status of free speech and free expression in California and open a lot of eyes in the process.
Brode is Department Chair for Administration of Justice and Real Estate at the college and will present this topic to fellow academics and the community in what the college refers to as a Scholarly Presentation an in-depth exploration of a topic of interest. Brode is a retired Burbank Police Department Sergeant who received his Juris Doctor degree from Whittier College of Law. He is certified to practice law in all California courts, the United States Central District Court, the Ninth Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He is currently also a Judge Advocate General (JAG) Officer with the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) Support Brigade of the California National Guard at Los Alamitos.
In a world where the 15-second sound bite is so often the extent to which many people have the opportunity to explore complex issues, the Scholarly Presentation provides a healthy alternative for those who want to know more about a subject, ask questions and satisfy intellectual curiosity. Previous Scholarly Presentations have provided insights into eating disorders, how the brain processes 3-D images, the fascinating world of the sea sponge, and much more. The presentations are extremely well attended and often are the catalysts for extended intellectual discussions and debate.
The event is sponsored by the College of the Canyons Foundation and the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees. There is no cost to attend this event. For reservations or for more information, contact the Foundation at (661) 362-3737.