There are very few exceptions to the First Amendment. “Fighting words” is one of them. But since the Supreme Court first outlined this exception in 1942, it hasn’t shown much interest in revisiting the issue.
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we’re joined by First Amendment scholar and FIRE Legal Fellow David L. Hudson Jr., who argues the “fighting words” doctrine is still alive and well in lower courts and is used to justify punishing everything from toilet tirades to cursing in a canoe.
- Transcript of the podcast
- Fighting words overview
- “The Fighting Words Doctrine: Alive and Well in the Lower Courts” by David Hudson
- “Can anti-profanity laws and the fighting words doctrine be squared with the First Amendment?” by David Hudson
- Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942)
- Cohen v. California (1971)
- Gooding v. Wilson (1972)
- Lewis v. City of New Orleans (1974)
- City of Houston v. Hill (1987)
- Texas v. Johnson (1989)
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