“Hate Speech” Not Covered By First Amendment

, Malcolm A. Kline, 1 Comment

Some of us become First Amendment absolutists after decades of watching attempts by both the political right and left to find exceptions to it. The latest onslaught of exceptionalism is coming from the latter.

Despite assertions that freedom is a nice but vague concept, we actually have a long history showing it is not. Indeed, George Leef of the James C. Martin Center for Academic Renewal points out that “the First Amendment contains no exception for ‘hate speech.'” If you want to check it out in your pocket Constitution, the First Amendment specifically says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Leef goes on to show us the court history that reinforces that right.