When considering the topic of Hate Speech one must look to the Supreme Court. They have dealt with issues of Hate Speech both directly and indirectly. From Miller v. California where Obscenity was defined based on the community standards. To the Beauharnais v. Illinois, where Joseph Beauharnais expressed his views on the, “harassment and invasion of white people” his leaflets were deemed libel, this is one of the limits of the First Amendment. Hate Speech has even been examined with a leader of the Ku Klux Klan in the case of Brandenburg v. Ohio. The court said that Ohio’s criminal syndicalism law violated the right to free speech. These court cases asked the question is there a difference between Hate Speech and Free Speech, and should crimes be prosecuted/punished differently? In other words should the motivation of a crime be examined to determine the punishment.
Hate Speech itself is not covered directly under the First Amendment. Free speech is the right for someone to express themselves. However, there are still limits that must be considered like Slander/ Libel, Clear and present danger, fighting words, and obscenity. The First Amendment is no longer protecting you. Hate Speech is indirectly protected under the First Amendment, until it crosses one of the limits. The first Amendment gives of great freedom, but Hate Speech a price.
“R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul.” Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/1991/90-7675. Accessed 19 Feb. 2017.
“Miller v. California.” Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/1971/70-73. Accessed 19 Feb. 2017.
“Beauharnais v. Illinois.” Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/1940-1955/343us250. Accessed 19 Feb. 2017.
“Brandenburg v. Ohio.” Oyez, https://www.oyez.org/cases/1968/492. Accessed 19 Feb. 2017.
Freedom of Speech: Crash Course Government and Politics #25. By Raoul Meyer. Prod. Stan Muller. Perf. Craig Benzine. YouTube. N.p., 31 July 2015. Web. 19 Feb. 2017