Hate Speech and The First Amendment: A Short Course for Concerned Citizens (Sessions 2-4)


John Finn

Fridays, September 11th, 18th, and 25th, 12-1:30pm PT / 3-4:30pm ET
# people have already signed up
This event is sold out, but if you sign up for the waitlist, we'll let you know if spots become available.
You're on the waitlist now!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please email us at info@speakeasy.com to join the waitlist.
Hate Speech and The First Amendment: A Short Course for Concerned Citizens (Sessions 2-4)
No items found.


Do we have a First Amendment right to say hateful things, like racial slurs, that may hurt others? Is there a difference between speech that is hateful and speech that is simply offensive? The United States Supreme Court has sometimes held that so-called “fighting words” and hate speech are not protected because they do nothing to advance the larger purposes of the First Amendment. But more often, the Court has protected speech that many of us might find uncivil, offensive, or vile.

Join award-winning professor of constitutional law John E. Finn for this thought-provoking and timely seminar. In four lively and interactive sessions, we’ll explore what the First Amendment does—and does not—say about the place of hate speech in American political culture. Along the way, we’ll address a few questions central to any understanding of the First Amendment: Why do we have a First Amendment? What does the First Amendment protect? And what is the future of the First Amendment?

Our sessions will focus on:

  • First Amendment Fundamentals & Common Misperceptions
  • The Constitution, Fighting Words, and Offensive Speech
  • The Rise and (Un)constitutionality of Hate Speech: Modern Cases
  • The US Stands Alone: Hate Speech on the Internet and in Other Constitutional Democracies

This is a rare opportunity to learn with a preeminent scholar in an intimate setting; we’re limiting this seminar to fifteen participants to make this a truly interactive experience. We hope you’ll join us.

What to expect at this event