Hate speech and the normative foundations of regulation
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 16 December 2013
Racist incidents on American university campuses in the 1980s triggered a storm of publications by scholars who coined the phrase ‘hate speech’ for the legal lexicon. Some of the offences had already been subject to legal or institutional penalties for harassment or vandalism. Several universities nevertheless adopted broad codes of conduct to penalise hateful expression. For two decades, however, the US Supreme Court had been marching in the opposite direction. It was interpreting the Constitution's First Amendment to prevent federal or state government from punishing speakers solely on grounds of the viewpoints they express.
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