Fun Fact of the Day


In Schenck v. United States (1919), the Supreme Court invented the famous “clear and present danger” test to determine when a state could constitutionally limit an individual’s free speech rights under the First Amendment. The paraphrase “yelling fire in movie theatre” was a result of the unanimous opinion written by Justice Oliver Holmes.


The First Amendment and Hate Speech: Do we lag behind the rest of the world?

Preamble of the ConstitutionTanya Cohen, from the website ThoughtCatalog, wrote a piece regarding the First Amendment and hate speech.  She made a number of comparisons to the First Amendment, and how other countries around the world handle what she describes as “hate speech”.

From the article:

In the United States, hate speech is often spewed forth by people with a great deal of influence, thus making it even more dangerous. Freedom of speech always comes with responsibility, and people in powerful positions need to have extra responsibilities. Consider the case of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson. In a civilized country with basic human rights, Phil Robertson would have been taken before a government Human Rights Tribunal or Human Rights Commission and given a fine or prison sentence for the hateful and bigoted comments that he made about LGBT people. In the US, however, he was given no legal punishment, even though his comments easily had the potential to incite acts of violence against LGBT people, who already face widespread violence in the deeply homophobic American society – and his comments probably DID incite acts of violence against LGBT people.

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