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06 May 2015

So Dumb: Chris Cuomo Claims The Constitution Bans 'Hate Speech'

Chris Cuomo. Recipient of a Juris Doctorate degree from the Sesame Street School of Law

 Grabilla screen capture: 2015-05-06 17:25:01

Chris, you should demand a refund from Fordham. I can cite numerous SCOTUS decisions that contradict your ridiculous assertion that 'hate speech' is banned under the Constitution.

Is this 'hate speech'? 'If they ever make me carry a rifle the first man I want to get in my sights is L.B.J' Nope. Watts v United States, 394 U.S. 705.

Is carrying 'God Hates Fags' signs at a soldier's funeral 'hate speech'? Nope. Snyder v Phelps, 131 S. Ct. 1207.

Chaplinsky doesn't ban 'hate speech'. It is much more limited than people think. The Fighting Words doctrine is very limited and specific. Even the Court recognised that 'distasteful' speech that advances some idea or social value does not constitute 'fighting words'.

'There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or "fighting" words those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that SUCH UTTERANCES ARE NO ESSENTIAL PART OF ANY EXPOSITION OF IDEAS, AND ARE OF SUCH SLIGHT SOCIAL VALUE AS A STEP TO TRUTH that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.'
 - Justice Frank Murphy, Chaplinsky v New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568 (1942)

Exposition of ideas or words of some social value - which is exactly what was happening in Garland - aren't 'fighting words'. Seriously, do you really believe that 'you're a damned fascist' (Chaplinsky) is not going to be protected under the First Amendment today? If those are 'fighting words', then most of your friends are going to be in serious trouble considering they say that about the right every bloody day.

There's not much left of Chaplinsky after Brandenburg v Ohio, 395 U.S 444 (1969), Street v New York, 394 U.S. 576 (1969), Cohen v California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971), Gooding v Wilson, 405 U.S. 518 (1972), Lewis v City of New Orleans, 415 U.S. 130 (1974), R.A.V. v City of St. Paul, 505 U.S.377 (1992) and Snyder v Phelps, 131 S. Ct. 1207 (2011).

You're welcome.