Art Censorship

. However, despite what on the face of the First Amendment appears to be a total prohibition on government restricting freedom of speech, not all exercises of expression or speech will be protected by the First Amendment.

Many people think that the focus of the First Amendment is to protect the freedom of speech of controversial political groups such as the American Nazi Party. Although many cases involve purely political speech, courts have also declared that artistic expression is also protected by the First Amendment. These cases are not as black and white as those involving political speech, because the United States Supreme Court, over the years, has struggled to establish a test to balance the government's right to restrict art that is considered obscene against the individual's right to freedom of speech. This paper will examine two of the many issues that arise in this area: first, the right of the government to regulate art for which it is providing all or a part of the funding and second, the Supreme Court's definition of what is "obsceneaE and therefore not protected by the First Amendment.

In 1998, the United States Supreme Court was faced with decid



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