Monday, January 21, 2019

Hate speech in the United States

United States

Main article: Hate speech in the United States

The United States does not have hate speech laws since American courts have repeatedly ruled that laws criminalizing hate speech violate the guarantee to freedom of speech contained in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.[8]

There are several categories of speech that are not protected by the First Amendment, such as speech that calls for imminent violence upon a person or group.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that hate speech is not one of these categories.[97][not in citation given] Court rulings often must be reexamined to ensure the U.S. Constitution is being upheld in the ruling on whether or not the words count as a violation.[98]

Proponents of hate speech legislation in the United States have argued that freedom of speech undermines the 14th Amendment by bolstering an oppressive narrative which demeans equality and the Reconstructive Amendment's purpose of guaranteeing equal protection under the law.[99]


United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U. S. 644, 655 (1929) (Holmes, J., dissenting).[1]

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court delivered judgment in favor of Tam, voting unanimously to affirm the lower court.

[36][37] The majority opinion stated "The disparagement clause violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. Contrary to the Government’s contention, trademarks are private, not government speech."[1]

This decision is another ruling that strikes down 'Hate Speech' laws that violate the First Amendment's Free Speech Clause. Justice Samuel Alito writes in this unanimous decision:

Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”

United States v. Schwimmer, 279 U. S. 644, 655 (1929) (Holmes, J., dissenting).[1]

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