Presentation on theme: "Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942) The law: prevent “offensive, derisive, and annoying speech” in public places… Can “fighting words” be exempted from."— Presentation transcript:
Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942) The law: prevent “offensive, derisive, and annoying speech” in public places… Can “fighting words” be exempted from First Amendment protection? Yes! “It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality…”
Chaplinsky analyzed Murphy’s decision is premised on: speech gets protected based on its ability to aid in the search for truth…if they are not ideas, there is no speech… exceptions based on promoting order, tranquility, and civility… Fighting words defined as those 1) that tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace, and those 2) by their very utterance inflict injury...
Chipping away at Chaplinsky Categorical exceptions: “There are certain well designed and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never thought to raise any Constitutional problem.” Terminiello v. Chicago:”A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.”
Cohen’s Jacket (Cohen v. California, 1971) Cohen is vindicated, why? no violence resulted no directed to a specific person or group no captive audience, folks should just “avert their eyes” The SC discovers communication theory: “…much linguistic expression serves a dual communicative function: it conveys not only ideas capable of relatively precise detached explication, but otherwise inexpressible emotions as well.”
Gooding (1972) and the “motherfucker” cases The Court narrows Chaplinsky by specifying that the banned words must be likely to provoke a response “from the person addressed.”--Gooding v. Wilson Fighting words dependent on context, cops arguably must meet a higher standard, they are trained to exercise a higher degree of restraint than the average citizen (Rosenfield, Brown, Lewis)