The Triumph of Hate Speech Regulation

in Speak No Evil

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780226305530
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226305134 | DOI:
The Triumph of Hate Speech Regulation

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This chapter expands the inquiry from college campuses to civil society, concluding that hate speech regulation has permeated other elite institutions such as the media and has trickled down to influence mass opinion and common understandings of constitutional norms. The chapter reconnects the hate speech story to extra-judicial law and the power of legal meaning-making, arguing that informal law or mass constitutionalism is as powerful as the formal Constitution, providing vehicles for change that exist without the intervention of courts. Contemporary hate speech regulation arose almost from happenstance, but the lesson remains true for those who seek legal change: Although the courts help to establish legal meaning with their decisions, it is just as important to win the battle in civil society by influencing the public's construction of legal and constitutional norms.

Keywords: hate speech regulation; college campus; civil society; mass opinion; constitutional norms; extra-judicial law; legal meaning-making

Chapter.  6569 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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