Hate Speech in Constitutional Jurisprudence: A Comparative Analysis
63 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2001
Date Written: April 2001
The United States protects much hate speech that is banned in other Western constitutional democracies and under international human rights covenants and conventions. In the United States, only hate speech that leads to "incitement to violence" can be constitutionally restricted, while under the alternative approach found elsewhere, bans properly extend to hate speech leading to "incitement to hatred." The article undertakes a comparative analysis in light of changes brought by new technologies, such as the internet, which allow for worldwide spread of protected hate speech originating in the United States. After evaluating the respective doctrines, arguments and values involved, the article concludes that the United States approach is less defensible than its counterparts elsewhere.
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