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According to the latest U.S. Supreme Court decisions, does the First Amendment recognize a right to intimidate people by making direct calls for violence?

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In a unanimous 1992 decision in the case of R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, 5 of the Supreme Court's 9 justices declared that "threats of violence are outside the First Amendment" and laws prohibiting such threats are constitutional, because they protect "individuals from the fear of violence, from the disruption that fear engenders, and from the possibility that the threatened violence will occur." In the 2003 case of Virginia v. Black, a plurality of the Supreme Court declared that laws prohibiting certain kinds of intimidation are constitutional if they forbid "a type of true threat, where a speaker directs a threat to a person or group of persons with the intent of placing the victim in fear of bodily harm or death."

DocumentationFree Speech & Intimidation



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