Revisiting the limits on free speech

The FBI and Southern Poverty Law Center have documented an uptick in hate crimes and hate speech in 2015 and following the recent presidential election.

Our nation has long tolerated offensive language and action with the notion that, "I may not like what you say, but I defend your right to say it." But if the result is more violence in our communities, is it time to rethink that right?

In an op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune, University of Utah law professor Amos Guiora argues for revisiting the limits on free speech. "The challenge is to determine what degree of extremist internet speech can be tolerated -- in the context of freedom of speech -- before determining that extremist speech poses a clear and present danger," he writes. "Balancing is essential; the consequences of unjustified limitations of free speech are antithetical to a democracy. On the other hand, speech has the potential of harming."

MPR News host Kerri Miller talked to Guiora. And she asked two free speech experts -- Margaret Russell, a law professor at Santa Clara University, and Soraya Chemaly, director of the Women's Media Center Speech Project -- what speech is and isn't protected by the First Amendment, and the consequences of protecting all speech.

To hear the full discussion, use the audio player above.

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