The Constitution states the rights and regulations that govern the lives of all those that live in the United States. Thus it is the country’s most important document and also the most controversial. This month has shown with the successful court challenges to President Trump’s Moslem ban and also this week’s controversy involving #milo yiannopoulos that the Constitution’s rules do not come without a price.

Limits to freedom

It may seem strange to some, but the price of freedom is in the limits that freedom sets. The freedom expressed in the Constitution limit the powers of the Executive Branch and over the last few weeks President #Donald Trump has begun learning these limits to his power as he struggles to out into effect his controversial executive order for a Moslem ban from seven “at risk” countries in the Middle East.

These limits are expressed in the phrase that has been much quoted in this first month of the new Administration, “checks and balances”. The American system of government ensures that none of the three branches of American government, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary exceed the powers granted them under the Constitution.

Given the reports of a new executive order on immigration in the course of the next few days, there is little doubt that these limits will continue to be tested, at least in the immediate future.

The most valuable right

Without doubt the most valued and important right is that of freedom of expression and thus also of opinion. The case of Milo Yiannopoulos and also that of Elizabeth Warren in the Senate have once more put this issue into the spotlight.

In the case of the controversial blogger, Freedom Of Expression does not include expressions of hatred towards individuals or groups within the community. For this reason State and Federal laws cover issues such as inciting racial hatred, defamation and violent and threatening language.

Thus expressing opinions should not threaten the lives, or the rights of anyone who lives in the United States.

This limit on freedom of expression protects everyone in the country and if anything makes freedom of expression even more important.

In the case of Senator Elizabeth Warren, her attempt at reading a letter by Coretta Scott King in the confirmation sitting for new Attorney General Jeff Sessions raised the issue of what constitutes such limitations.

Law makers are even greater responsibilities and duties than normal citizens and thus are even more answerable for their actions. Yet, the vote to silence the Senator from Massachusetts may set a dangerous precedent for the future as she was not allowed to address legitimate concerns raised during the confirmation hearings. Sooner or later the precedent set in the Senate will once more raise its head and the Senate will be forced to define the meanings of the rarely used regulation used in the sitting

The price to be paid

Rights and duties of the individual include not limiting those of other citizens. The right of freedom of expression should not and must not limit the rights of others and this includes quality of life which is affected by expressions of hatred, or oppression based on religion, lifestyle, origins, or personal choices.

When we look at the particular case of Milo Yiannopoulos, we must not only look at whether or not we agree with what he says, we must also look at the effect that these opinions have on the lives of others.

This is the price we pay for Freedom and at the same time it is what guarantees Freedom for all. It is a price well worth paying.