Is "hate" speech protected by the constitution?

We’re hearing a lot about hate speech lately. A lot of times it’s by people projecting their own opinion and has nothing to do with actual hate. So here are my questions:
Is “hate” speech protected? And if not, who gets to decide what qualifies as hate speech?

As long as it it not inciting an immediate criminal act, all speech is protected by the Constitution, no matter how vile it may actually be, or how vile some may perceive it to be.


From fines and or imprisonment? As far as I know it is.

Agreed. But I think there is some momentum building to regulate speech.

There is such momentum and it needs to be stopped. Fortunately, all the Justices of the Supreme Court have shown pro-First Amendment proclivities.


The first amendment protects all speech. Making you argument null
and void.


Yes… Remember Voltaire. There is a reason the 1st amendment is about speech, and the second is about being armed!

Less than 100 years ago unfettered leftism disarmed and killed 10’s of millions of people and enslaved billions…

exactly. ALL the SCOTUS justices are strong advocates of the first amendment.

there is no momentum against the first.


The momentum is all in your mind.

you cant cite one SCOTUS opinion that does not defend the first amemdment.


You are mistaken. I’m not making an argument. Try again.

then what point are you triyng to make?


The momentum is not at the top, but at the bottom. Young kids who seem to think that speech they regard as “hateful” can be excluded from the public arena. They are of course wrong. And this has resulted in incidents. Kids must be taught early in school that they must accept the fact that all speakers are entitled to the public arena, even if those speakers are wearing communist outfits, white supremacist outfits or Nazi outfits. Nobody gets t make rules on what speech is allowed in the public arena.

It should never get to the point where the Supreme Court has to smack their immature behinds. They should already KNOW this coming out of school.


But your rudeness is not all in my mind. Communicate with me with the same respect that I show you, then we’ll talk. Until then. Bye-ya! :wave:

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And that’s where it starts. It starts with schools. Then colleges. Moving on to social media and then to government. The same people who are making private sector decisions will be putting politicians and judges in place who reflect their view.

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There are two movements within the burgeoning of Identity Politics that do urge the regulation of speech.

On the left, there is a viewpoint that since speech is a form of behavior, words carry the same impact as actions. Since we regulate actions (i.e., we would arrest someone for assaulting someone) therefore there is a basis for regulating language.

On the religious right, there is a viewpoint that any criticism of a religious point of view is a restriction on the religion as well as a left-like willingness to equate words with action. This was the basis for the Little Sisters of Charity objection to the Obamacare requirement that they file paperwork documenting their religious objection to providing insurance for birth control. They treated the requirement to state their view as an assault.

Personally, I’m a first amendment absolutist – no freedom to “shout fire in a crowded theater” – but other than restrictions directly required for public safety, anything goes.

What would be most helpful is to recognize this is not a left issue or a right issue and let each side focus on cleaning up its own nonsense.

The ACLU has a long history of recognizing the 1st Amendment basis for hate speech. Good on them!

exactly. who cares what the populace thinks.

the only thing that matters is SCOTUS opinions.

I think that SCOTUS was wrong about citizens united.

does it really matter what I think?



If it is the public sphere then yes the government cannot restrict it unless it is incitement to commit an illegal act.

If the hate speech is conducted on private property or through private enterprise (i.e. not government) then it would be the owners of the medium.

For example this is the Sean Hannity forum, you do not have 1st Amendment protections here, you can be booted for anything the Administrator for Mr. Hannity or the Mods decide to boot you for. He (Mr. Hannity) and his team get to decide what speech flys here.

Same for Twitter and Facebook…


You get to say ANYTHING you think, without worrying about some religious policeman or undercover policeman arresting and dragging you to a re-education camp for saying it.

THAT is the beauty of the First Amendment and why it must be interpreted in the broadest possible manner.

In the end, it matters little what people THINK of what ANY of us on this board say. Most of us will simply be ignored by the public.

It DOES matter that we can go out in public and say it.

so am I. doesnt matter what it is

However that doesnt stop me from using my free speech to counter what others are doing.

If Nazis or white supremacist are exercising their right of free speech that doesnt interfere with mine to counter them.


This pretty much spells it out. Why is it going any further?