ERIC Number: ED240655
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Free Speech in the Military: A Status Report.
Parker, Richard A.
Two recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court have emasculated First Amendment guarantees for military personnel. In the first case, Parker v. Levy, an Army captain urged enlisted Special Forces personnel at his post to refuse to go to Viet Nam, claiming that "Special Forces personnel are liars and thieves and killers of peasants and murderers of women and children." His statements were deemed violative of Articles 133 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which provide punishment for conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman and for all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the Armed Forces. In rendering its decision, the court reasoned that the historical context and language of the General Articles of the Uniform Code provided "fair notice" that the officer's conduct was punishable. In the second case, Brown v. Glines, a serviceman drafted petitions to several congressmen complaining about grooming standards imposed upon Air Force personnel and then circulated the petitions without seeking prior approval from the base commander. The court found the regulations authorizing prior restraint to be reasonably necessary to the unimpeded operation of the military establishment. These two decisions illustrate the need for a continuing assessment of judicial opinions to ensure that the interests of free expression for military personnel are articulated and defended. (HOD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Brown v Glines; First Amendment; Parker v Levy; Supreme Court
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (69th, Washington, DC, November 10-13, 1983).