Friday, May 8, 2015

CNN Anchor Says Constitution Doesn't Protect Hate Speech

Link provided by George Jefferson with the following remark: "Looks like Cuomo doesn't get it either‏"   As is his custom, he misrepresents what I say, which is quite different from Mr. Cuomo's position (assuming George is referring to me when he says "either")


Chris Cuomo is co-host of CNN’s morning show. He’s also a former law and justice correspondent for ABC News. He has a law degree from Fordham University and is a licensed attorney. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is his brother.

In other words, this is somebody you’d expect would know what he’s talking about on the subject of basic constitutional facts. And yet:
This was in response to the shooting outside Pamela Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest event in Garland, Texas. According to Cuomo, Geller and her ilk might not have a First Amendment right to express anti-Muslim speech deemed hateful—it says so, right there in the Constitution, if we would bother to read it.

Okay, let’s take Cuomo’s challenge. Let’s read the speech part of the Constitution. (I hope this doesn’t take too long; I hate reading.) Oh, good, the speech stuff is right there at the beginning of the "things you can do" section:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
My copy of the Constitution seems to be missing this fabled “except hate speech, none of that” clause.


  1. Of course, hate speech is legal. That's one of the many lovely things that make us uniquely American. This does not, however, mean that it is always a good idea.

    1. I agree FJ, and while there might be speech out there that is disagreeable and that individuals or even large segments of the populace might not approve of, its still protected.

    2. Not just legal- but protected.

    3. Not just protected, but a good idea, according to Eugene Volokh. Agree with that, TS?

    4. Performing hate speech is seldom a good idea, but protecting hate speech is a very good idea.