Rereading the First Amendment in Light of Treaties Proscribing Incitement to Racial Discrimination or Hostility
9 Pages Posted: 7 Jun 2014
Date Written: 1991
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: Suggested Citation