The notion of Freedom of Expression and Speech as provided under thelaw continues to draw confusion as relates to its interpretation. Thedescription of the notion of freedom of speech and expression isunclear since it is impossible to understand the extent to which onecan make utterances that should be questioned despite the individualsenjoying constitutional protection from the same. An analysis of thetwo cases Elonis v. the United States and Equal EmploymentOpportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. seeksto highlight the need for a constitutional amendment regarding theinterpretation of the rights and freedoms individuals enjoy.
The courts should have a meaningful interpretation of the law when itcomes to the concept of freedom of speech and expression. The Elonisv. the United States and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v.Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc is evidence enough regarding theambiguity that exists in understanding the extent to whichindividuals should be allowed to enjoy the rights and privileges. InElonis v. the United States, the accused was initially determined tohave broken the law by making the utterances that were suggestive ofan individual likely to execute a particular crime. However, onappealing, the accused is released on grounds that they wereexercising their freedom of speech. It is unfortunate that theappellate courts decided to arrive at the conclusion despite thecontroversies that could have been revolving around the case itself.The utterances made by the accused could as well be interpreted as apotential threat he was making. The courts could have instead focusedon highlighting the need to detain the suspect for furtherinterrogation regarding the decision to make a particular threat.Freedom of speech among individuals should only be allowed to theextent to which it does not stir any discomfort among other citizens.In Elonis v. the United States, it was evident that the utterancesmade by the individual online could be described as a threatespecially considering the recent wave of mass shootings that havebeen witnessed in schools. It could be seen as if the accused has anintention of executing the deed but is giving prior warning. Becauseof the same, it is essential that the courts lead in providing anexplanation of the concept of freedom of speech and the extent towhich individuals have the privilege of enjoying the right.
Similarly, the case of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v.Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc is a reflection of theuncertainty that exists regarding the interpretation of the law onfreedom of expression. Initially, the United States Circuit ofAppeals had ruled for the company stating that Elauf had not providedAbercrombie & Fitch with information regarding the need for to bereligiously accommodated (Walsh, 2015). The ruling could be perceivedas being unfair because much evidence pointed to the fact that shewas a Muslim. Elauf was not under any form of obligation to provideinformation to the company regarding her religion. Of significance isthe need for organization’s to continually practicenon-discrimination against employees (Ghumman, Ryan, Barclay, &Markel, 2013). However, it is essential to understand the extent towhich such provisions should be allowed. Organizations have policiesthat all employees must adhere to. The courts have the obligation toconsider the policies within the organization when making the rulingsabout a case in which companies are involved.
Ghumman, S., Ryan, A. M., Barclay, L. A., & Markel, K. S. (2013).Religious discrimination in the workplace: A review and examinationof current and future trends. Journal of Business and Psychology,28(4), 439-454.
Walsh, M. (2015). High Court Rules in Online Threat, Religious RightsCases. Education Week, 34(34), 19.