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Hot Topic: First Amendment Free Speech (Wayne College): Hate Speech

This guide explores and provides a starting point for your research on The First Amendment Right of Free Speech. This guide highlights free speech on college campuses, hate speech and athlete activism.

Supreme Court Cases

The First Amendment does not protect fighting words, which are those that inherently cause harm or are likely to result in an immediate disturbance or an act of violence. Fighting words are a category of speech that is unprotected by the First Amendment. Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 572 ,

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).

Suggested Books