Download Fighting Words: Individuals, Communities, and Liberties of by Kent Greenawalt PDF

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By Kent Greenawalt

Should still "hate speech" be made against the law, or does the 1st modification oblige american citizens to allow using epithets directed opposed to a person's race, faith, ethnic foundation, gender, or sexual choice? Does a campus speech code increase or degrade democratic values? whilst the yankee flag is burned in protest, what rights of unfastened speech are concerned? In a lucid and balanced research of up to date lawsuits facing those difficulties, in addition to these of obscenity and place of work harassment, acclaimed First modification pupil Kent Greenawalt now addresses a wide common viewers of readers attracted to the most up-tp-date unfastened speech concerns.

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36 Since the Supreme Court has yet to address many difficult questions about the boundaries of freedom of speech, one cannot reach confident conclusions about how it will ultimately resolve them. But if one tries to piece together comments in opinions subscribed to by majorities, the following seems to be the present law in Canada. Speaking and writing are covered by Section 2(b), even when they are intimately related to independent criminal activities. 37 If an offer of services is covered by Section 2, as the prostitution cases indicate, so also would be acceptance of an offer.

Barry,25 was a straightforward regulation of content; it was viewpoint discrimination. Displaying near the Israeli embassy a sign praising Israel or neutral toward it was not criminal; displaying a highly critical sign was criminal. But was viewpoint discrimination really involved in the Texas statute? Suppose people constantly dragged flags through the mud and used them to light campfires. The strength of the flag as a symbol might well diminish if people continually treated it shabbily. And its strength as a symbol could be damaged even if people mistreated it in demonstrations in favor of nationhood and 36 CHAPTER THREE national unity.

And what about fighting words? The drift of modern Supreme Court opinions, as chapter 4 suggests, is that only the prospect of immediate violence is a basis for forbidding the use of harsh personal insults and general epithets. But suppose five white males shout racial and sexual epithets at a lone black woman in the park. Should this be protected speech because a violent response is highly unlikely in the circumstances? I believe deep offense should sometimes warrant restrictions on speech, but probably only when there are immediate, identifiable victims.

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