PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 22, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- As a dedicated student of the First Amendment, Zachary Navit
knows from firsthand experience just how complicated the document can be. It grants acknowledgement that citizens of the United States have the right to freedom of speech, expression, beliefs, thoughts, values, and other such hallmarks of individuality.
However, at the same time, the First Amendment does not guarantee complete legal sanction for every type of expression that a person may utilize. For example, while the First Amendment allows an individual to speak his or her mind wherever desired, it does not grant that person complete immunity from the consequences of doing so.
For a case in point, a recent article by The Reporter discusses one case in particular where a television reporter was fired from her job for practicing her rights to free speech online. Initially, this may seem like an unconstitutional act - and indeed, the reporter in question decried it as such. The article, however, explains why she is wrong.
According to the article, the reporter kept a personal blog on the side where she frequently posted "behind the scenes" information about herself and her career at the television station where she worked. This information included confessions of things such as sleeping on the job, refusing to work with the elderly, and stealing mail - the last of which is a federal offense.
As a result of her posting these confessions, and out of a concern for the image of the station that employed her, the reporter was fired from her job. When questioned by the media, the article says that she claimed that what she said on her personal time on a personal online forum should be covered by her First Amendment protections.
And, according to First Amendment student Zachary Navit, she is absolutely right. "The First Amendment does indeed protect her right to say these things in whatever medium she wants," Navit explains. "Her blog itself was not breaking any rules, even if she admitted to breaking other rules within the confines of the blog. As such, nobody has the right to censor her blog based on what she's posted there."
This does not, however, mean that she should not have been fired, Zachary Navit continues. "Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences," clarifies Navit. "She has the right to say whatever she wants to about her employers. Her employers likewise have the right to fire her for embarrassing or defaming their organization. It's sort of like the same way that the law protects your right to insult a person but does not grant you legal amnesty for whatever may happen afterward as a result."
This, says Zachary Navit, is an important distinction that many people need to learn to make, that just because they can do something legally does not in itself make it a good idea.
is a law school student currently working on earning his Juris Doctorate from the Catholic University of America's Columbus School of Law. He is currently working as an intern in a law clerk position with the state courts of Philadelphia, PA. In this capacity, Navit is responsible for drafting and editing Memorandua as well as performing legal research. He hopes to graduate with his law degree in 2015 and then begin helping individuals who are struggling with their personal freedoms under the First Amendment.