The Instigator
brant.merrell
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
JDiamond
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Hate Speech is Constitutionally Protected

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 364 times Debate No: 81547
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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brant.merrell

Con

This debate caught my attention:

Hate Speech is Constitutionally Protected [1]

And I think Pro did a better job. However, I'd like to give this debate a try as Con.

So. Round 1, acceptance.

1. http://www.debate.org...;

JDiamond

Pro

I accept this debate challenge, and wish my opponent best of luck.

I will do my best to answer in every round, but just know that between College Application Deadlines and work, this may be difficult.
Debate Round No. 1
brant.merrell

Con

I wish my opponent luck as well, especially in college applications!

Let us pay close attention to the wording of Amendment 1 of the Constitution,

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.

While this amendment restricts Congress, abridging free speech is within the jurisdiction of the rest of the government. The FBI and DHS act with the Constitutional authority of the Executive Branch as defined in Article II, and are free to anticipate hate crimes and terrorist attacks based on speech and whatever other evidence they obtain.

They are held in check by the Supreme Court and lower courts, who can issue warrants to search, seize, or otherwise apprehend potentially dangerous individuals based on threats these individuals make, as long as these actions are subjectively reasonable as required by the fourth amendment. So of the three federal branches of government, only one is unable to respond to hate speech.

The first amendment additionally does not restrict state legislatures and governors, city and county authorities, or property owners. Can a property owner not legally require you to leave the premises based on what you say, for no reason at all? And if so, can he not create rules that define when he exercises this right? With the same rights, a school can create and enforce rules of behavior including those against hate speech.

Hate speech is perhaps protected from Congress, but if it were “Constitutionally protected,” it would be legal in any location under any circumstances.

I look forward to learning more on this complicated topic from Pro!

JDiamond

Pro

JDiamond forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
brant.merrell

Con

"There are certain well-defined and limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise a Constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous and the insulting or fighting words – those which by their very utterances inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace." - Justice Frank Murphy
JDiamond

Pro

I apologize for not being able to post my argument, the application process went longer than expected.

While it is true that the First Amendment does not prevent states or localities from setting up their own speech restrictions, the Fourteenth Amendment, and equal protection under the law does prevent this course of action.

In regard to monitoring of terrorists, it is important to remember that the US Constitution is only applicable to Citizens of the United States, most terrorist suspects are foreign, and thus are not entitled to the same rights and privileges as an actual US citizen. But for the small number that do happen to be US citizens, it should be noted that no arrest may be made against American citizens based solely on what that person said. There has to be substantial proof of links to hostile groups, as well as an actual crime attempted because of the person's words.

I also take issue with my opponent's assertion that, due to the wording of the amendment, the executive or judicial branches is not bound to the Bill of Rights. While it is true that Presidents have acted on their own accord in regard to policing of speech, the relative hesitance for the Legislative Branch to do anything about it does not make such actions protected under the law. It is also important to realize, that the Constitution only officially allows for the Legislature to make laws. Executive orders were not yet a concept, and the role of the President is to essentially 'enforce' the Congress's rulings. Obviously, this is not the case today, but many aspects of today's federal government are not found in the constitution.

I agree with con that a person is not bound by the Constitution on their own property, but that was never the argument I was making. The Constitution exists to put limits on the power of the federal (and, as per the 14th Amendment, state) governments, not individuals in their private lives.
Debate Round No. 3
brant.merrell

Con

brant.merrell forfeited this round.
JDiamond

Pro

In addition, hate speech does not equal "fighting words". In order for something to be considered a "fighting word", actual physical threats must be made in addition to an ethnic slur. This is why it i perfectly legal for the Ku Klux Klan to parade around with signs saying horrible things about black people.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by brant.merrell 1 year ago
brant.merrell
I said Wednesday, I meant the last possible day. Looks like I've got until Friday morning.
Posted by brant.merrell 1 year ago
brant.merrell
I'll post my round 2 on Wednesday, that'll give you until Saturday. I'm trying to build a startup business anyway; even when I have time to post an early round, I wait until the last day so my schedule is less likely to lose me a round later.
Posted by JDiamond 1 year ago
JDiamond
I disagree. The Jurisprudence is pretty clear that Hate Speech is protected by the Constitution
Posted by vasarta 1 year ago
vasarta
I agree, It says so in the first amendment that there are limits to what free speech is. You cannot run down the street yelling fire or rape or murder. You cannot walk up to the president of the united states and tell him you are going to murder him any second now. You cannot fly on a plane and start screaming bomb. You cannot walk into a hospital and start running around and scream EBOLA EBOLA EBOLA...

Free speech has limits and hate speech is not protected by the constitution.
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