LAW 532-001 – Constitutional Law II

Hate Speech


Hate speech is not a separate category of unprotected speech for First Amendment purposes.

Hate speech must fall within another recognized category to lose First Amendment protection.

Group Libel

Group libel is not unprotected speech.

A group libel conviction was upheld in Beauharnias v. Illinois, but for a number of reasons, this is probably not good law anymore.

Fighting Words

Fighting words are statements likely to cause the average addressee to fight. They must be given personally, face-to-face though.

Negligence might be enough mens rea.

Fighting words are unprotected speech.

Statutes can outlaw a subset of fighting words as long as that subset of fighting words is not content-based (based on viewpoint). (It gets strict scrutiny, even if the speech is worthless.)

Being motivated by race can be a basis for enhanced sentencing, just not an element of the crime itself.