Cross Burning as Hate Speech Under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution
Amsterdam Law Forum, Vol. 2, No. 1, 2009
5 Pages Posted: 25 Nov 2010
Date Written: November 25, 2009
This brief essay discusses the constitutional status of hate speech and cross burning under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In general, hate speech is constitutionally protected unless the speaker intends to immediately provoke violence. Laws banning cross burning must be carefully drawn and enforced to protect cross burning when it is intended solely as political expression and is not intended as a threat.
Keywords: Cross Burning, Ku Klux Klan, Virginia v. Black, First Amendment, Constitution, R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul
JEL Classification: K19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation