The Instigator
Pro (for)
2 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Hate Speech is Constitutionally Protected

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 405 times Debate No: 80650
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




I will be making the argument that hate speech, so long as it doesn't directly pose a threat to national security or another's life, is protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Amendment I

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.

First Round will be limited to acceptance and introduction. Please cite all sources.


I think that hate speech should not be allowed. This is why:
1. Hate speech is a form of verbal bullying. This can and has led to suicides, murders, homicides, etc.
2. Hate speech is simply mean. You shouldn't engage in it and if someone else is, tell them to be quiet. Nicely.

That's about it.

Debate Round No. 1


JDiamond forfeited this round.


Since my opponent is making no argument, I will go on and show the research I have done to prove my point.

The site states that suicide from verbal bullying (hate speech) is the third leading cause of deaths in America. Over 7%-9% of young people have commited suicide every year. That's give or take 22535338 people per year! You took your leading quote from the constitution. The constitution, in the Declaration of Independence introduction, says this: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." If we are allowed to have life, doesn't that mean that it is not allowed to take life from others? Even though hate speech doesn't directly kill people, it causes people to want to die regardless. Isn't that against the laws of the Constitution?

This means that the law promoting free speech (an amendment) is going against the original Declaration of Independence. Should this be tolerated? I leave that up to you voters. Take your pick.
Debate Round No. 2


I apologize for forfeiting the previous round, I was unable I recieve any internet connection the past few days.
As my opponent has clearly pointed out, verbal bullying is the cause of a significant rate of suicides in the U.S. Every year, however, I'd like to remind my opponent that we are operating within the bounds of the Constitution of the United States, and not simple good-will or morality.
The First Amendment of the Constitution was set up for the intent purpose to defend offensive or unpopular speech from those who may try to censor it under the guise of 'the common good'. Without this intent to protect unpopular speech, there is no need for the First Amendment at all.

The statistic on suicides, though saddening, holds little weight in the context of the law. While certain outside factors can indeed be the catalyst for sucidal thoughts, the very definition of the word suicide holds the implication that the act was committed upon oneself. With this in mind, the only person who can reasonably be held responsible for the act under the law is the person who committed the act. This same principal would be applied to a hypothetical case in which a man tells his friend to rob a bank, and the friend proceeds to do so (without the man's knowledge). Despite the man putting the idea into his friend's head, he cannot be counted as responsible for the crime itself (as he had no actual part in committing it).

This isn't to say that harassing somebody to the point of suicide isn't morally reprehensible, but morality is not necessarily a basis of legality in the Unted States

I find it ironic that my opponent brings up the Declaration of Independence in her argument, while blatantly overlooking perhaps the most famous line in the entire passage ("all men are created equal.") This line isn't to say that all men are exactly the same in abilities or potential, but instead than all are entitled to the same rights. If my opponent were to truly believe that, she would force him/herself to be inconsistent with her beliefs in order reconcile her view that the beliefs that men hold are not equal under the law.


breakingamber forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Well since my opponent hasn't given me anything to offer a rebuttal of, I will continue on with the point I was making. Before I do so, however, I would like to clarify to my opponent the The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, though similar in the ideas they espouse, are two completely different documents; and thus neither holds a direct bearing on the other.

It seems to me that this debate has centralized around whether the state has the power to inform people what they SHOULDN'T say, versus what they MUSTN'T say.

For the state to discourage hateful speech isn't necessarily unconstitutional, as long as the people are still free to express their opinions freely. If the government were to punish people for the opinions they hold, an individual's constitutional right to freedom of speech and thought would be rendered essentially null...regardless of how noble the state's aims may be.


It is true that morality doesn't really go with legality, but I brought that up because I wasn't paying attention to what I was writing. Sorry. :| Now for my argument.

Many bullies know their victims may commit suicide, yet they continue bullying anyway. Some really bad bullies actually want their victims to commit suicide. (I was bullied when I was younger, so I should know!) That's like (as you put it), the first man continually telling his friend to rob the bank, and threatening to kill him or something like that. Declaration of Independence violation again.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by breakingamber 1 year ago
It's ok; I am a man.
Posted by JDiamond 1 year ago
For some reason I must have been subconsciously assuming that my opponent is a girl (i.e. My use of female pronouns).
I apologize if you are a man.
Posted by breakingamber 1 year ago
Vote for me because I'm awesome and my debate is better so far.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by brant.merrell 12 months ago
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Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: Con interchanged the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. I agree with Con but you gotta use Google!