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The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen States:

"The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of man’s most precious rights. Every citizen may therefore speak, write and publish freely, except that he shall be responsible for the abuse of that freedom in cases determined by law."

The Article I Section 4 of the Maine Constitution States:

"Every citizen may freely speak, write and publish sentiments on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of this liberty;"

What does "being responsible for the abuse" mean in cases such as these? Is this provision effectively different from the first amendment, under any constitutional and historical viewpoints?

  • Is your question satisfactorily answered by canonical answers here? – feetwet Jun 11 '16 at 18:15
  • No. I'm wondering if there are differences between the two types of free speech clauses...the two I listed there and the first amendment – Mr. A Jun 11 '16 at 19:06
  • First amendment rights are limited. Some laws have been found valid by the courts despite restrictions they place on speech. The free speech clauses you cite recognize explicitly that this will have to be the case. – phoog Jun 14 '16 at 2:33

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