Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Boat Cruisin'!

I went to sleep very late last night, so waking up this morning was a struggle. I forgot to get coffee, so I was mainly running on orange juice and a large intake of scrambled eggs when I went to the morning session. We read six cases last night, and majority of them dealt with pornography and some others dealt with protected speech.
  • Roth v. United States - Mr. Roth published a literary porn magazine and had it circulated, and he was charged with violating federal law against obscenity in terms of erotic nudity and pornography. He was convicted because his freedom of speech was not protected.
  • Miller v. California - Mr. Miller was the operator of the West Coast's largest mail-order porn business. He was easily convicted due to violating a California penal code, seeing as though he was mailing obscene material.
  • Paris Adult Theater I v. Slaton - Theater owners would warn their viewers before films that the pornography content could be considered offensive. Viewers of the films also had to be 21 years old. This case ended in the banning of showing adult films in movie theaters. 
  • New York Times v. Sullivan - The New York Times published a full-page advertisement to solicit funds for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so he could obtain a defense attorney. He was fighting a charge in Alabama Court against an Alabama perjury indictment. The advertisement contained false information about the Alabama police force, which angered Mr. Sullivan, who worked as a public official for Alabama. Mr. Sullivan sued the NY Times because he felt the advertisement defamed him. However, he lost the case because a law prohibits a public official cannot recover damages against falsehood, and the advertisement was protected.
  • Cox Broadcasting Company v. Cohn - (Note: We ended up not discussing this in class, but I'll post it anyways) Mr. Cohn sued the Cox Company for releasing the name of his seventeen year old daughter, who was a rape victim who did not survive the attack. He claimed that the release was an invasion of privacy. However, the court found that the released identity would not rise enough public interest for a case. 
  • United States v. New York Times - (Note: I mentioned this case in my blog yesterday, but I will summarize it here) After the leakage of the Pentagon Papers in the New York Times, President Nixon claimed that this was a violation of freedom of speech and that no more newspapers could publish the papers. However, the court found that the New York Times and other newspaper's freedom of speech WAS protected. Thus in turn, the publication of the papers continued to Nixon's chagrin. 
After class, I had lunch and then started working on homework in my dorm. During the afternoon session, Jeffrey passed back our quizzes from last week, and I'm happy to report I got a perfect score on it. This has definitely built a great momentum for my confidence and I am studying to do just as well on Thursday's quiz.

I definitely feel as if I'm getting a better grip on political science! My APUSH teacher would be proud
Not only do we have a quiz on Thursday, but we have a debate as well. We were split into groups of five to six. I'm in a group of five - my group is Jack, Joy, Miwako, Talia, and myself. We are assigned a case and are the defense. This is the prompt:

"The Johnsons, who live in Texas, recently found out that their eighteen year old daughter started making hard core pornographic films after she graduated from high school. They found out that Sweet Films was distributing the film nationwide to video stores and also on the internet. They convinced the District Attorney to charge Sweet Films with violation of Federal Code 18 USC & 1465 for transporting obscene material. Sweet Films feels that the statue is in violation of their First Amendment rights."

That sounds like a mouthful - it is. We split up into different jobs, and mine is writing the opening statement, which will last six minutes. I have no idea how I'm going to write a six minute long statement, yet alone write the statement. When I was a defense attorney is a mock-trial for my WWII class, I wrote the opening statement but it only lasted about one minute at the most. I'm going to research opening statements and do my best to not embarrass my team.

Jeffrey released us from class over an hour early so we could work in groups in the library. However, 3 out of the 5 members of my group are commuter and we felt it would be simpler to do individual work and create a Facebook and email group to keep up with one another. I feel that my group is strong enough to do this. I have faith in all of us!

After going back to my dorm and looking up how to write opening statements, I went to dinner and then with the rest of the group to the subway to meet Ms. L for the Boat Cruise! After taking the subway and then the bus, we went to Pier 66, where we enjoyed a wonderful Boat Cruise across the Hudson River. We saw a bit of Ground Zero, many skyscrapers including the Empire State Building, and even the Statue of Liberty! It was a great way to enjoy such a spectacular night.

Yummy nachos!
Momo and I
Morvarid with Manhattan in the back
First glimpse of the Statue of Liberty
Morvarid and the Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty
Yes I took pictures of myself on my phone with the Statue of Liberty in the back (I'm cool)
View of Manhattan!
Overlooking Manhattan
Brooklyn Bridge
Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, so we have no class. I'm going to Coney Island with the girls and Ms. L and then enjoying lovely fireworks in the evening. In between that time, I will be studying for the quiz, working on my debate, and finding more research for my paper! Topics are due on Thursday, and I'm considering changing mine from saying Affirmative Action is constitutional to my opinion that it is unconstitutional for presidents to exceed their powers during a National Emergency. It's all very exciting and I can't wait for the next steps.

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