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When the government acts as controller of prisons, it has broad abilities to limit the free speech of inmates.Essentially any restriction that is "reasonably related to legitimate penological interests" is valid.If it is indiscriminate, then under Legal Services Corp. Velazquez (2001), the government must be acting in a viewpoint-neutral way.However, if the government is basing some judgment of "quality" on the views, then only "invidious viewpoint discrimination" is barred.
According to the Supreme Court of the United States, the U. Constitution protects free speech while allowing for limitations on certain categories of speech.
The only limit recognized by the Court is that the prison must provide an "alternate means of exercising that right" of speech, an alternate channel, that still allows legitimate speech to be expressed.
The government may not criminally punish immigrants based on speech that would be protected if said by a citizen.
Categories of speech that are given lesser or no protection by the First Amendment (and therefore may be restricted) include obscenity, fraud, child pornography, speech integral to illegal conduct, speech that incites imminent lawless action, speech that violates intellectual property law, true threats, and commercial speech such as advertising.
Along with communicative restrictions, less protection is afforded for uninhibited speech when the government acts as subsidizer or speaker, is an employer, controls education, or regulates the mail, airwaves, legal bar, military, prisons, and immigration. Ohio (1969), the Supreme Court unanimously reversed the conviction of a Ku Klux Klan group for "advocating ... as a means of accomplishing political reform" because their statements at a rally did not express an immediate, or imminent intent, to do violence. United States (1919), which held that a "clear and present danger" could justify a law limiting speech.