Rereading the First Amendment in Light of Treaties Proscribing Incitement to Racial Discrimination or Hostility

9 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2014

See all articles by Jordan J. Paust

Jordan J. Paust

University of Houston Law Center

Date Written: 1991

Abstract

This essay addresses the possibility of rereading the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution while using what is now U.S. treaty law that outlaws racist speech and racist organizations as an interpretive aid. The U.S. constitutional reservation to the treaty is content neutral, thereby allowing the U.S. to interpret the U.S. consistently with the treaty. However, the treaty obligations are not neutral with respect to racist hate speech and are inconsistent with the present Brandenburg test concerning imminent lawless violence.

Keywords: Brandenburg, Constitution, First Amendment, free speech, hate speech, international law, interpretation, racist, reservation, speech, treaty

Suggested Citation

Paust, Jordan J., Rereading the First Amendment in Light of Treaties Proscribing Incitement to Racial Discrimination or Hostility (1991). 43 Rutgers Law Review 565 (1991), U of Houston Law Center No. 2014-A-24, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2446687

Jordan J. Paust (Contact Author)

University of Houston Law Center ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States

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