“Judges have long ruled that the First Amendment of the American constitution protects many forms of hateful speech. So the official at the University of Missouri who thinks that `the First Amendment does not give people a free pass to go around saying hateful things’ is mistaken . . . ” (The Economist, Letter to the Editor)

http://www.economist.com/news/letters/21688366-letters-editor

The letter to the editor goes on to cite specific Supreme Court cases.

I do not like it when people exercise their First Amendment rights in the manner described in those cases, but it is important to know what rights people have.

On the other hand, I do not know the full context of what the University of Missouri official said, but I would agree that the First Amendment does not give people a “free pass to say hateful things,” in that while there may be no legal accountability for such speech, there may certainly be ethical, social, or political accountability.

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