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Aktuelles - Oktober 2017

Rechtswissenschaftlicher Gast-Vortrag im virtuellen Klassenzimmer

Ausschnitt einer Computertastatur mit einer roten Taste, auf der Hate Speech steht.
(Foto: Thinkstock, Kagenmi)

Die EDELNet Graduat School lädt alle Studierenden und Beschäftigten der FernUniversität in Hagen ein zu einem Gastvortrag von Prof. Michael A. Lawrence, Foster Swift Professor of Constitutional Law at the Michigan State University College of Law. Der Rechtswissenschaftler spricht über den Schutz der Redefreiheit durch die U.S.-Verfassung und rassistische Hassrede.

Der Gastvortrag wird am Donnerstag, 9. November, ab 17.30 Uhr im Virtuellen Klassenzimmer übertragen. Im Anschluss besteht die Möglichkeit, mit Michael A. Lawrence auch über diesen Kanal zu diskutieren.

Weitere Fragen beantwortet Dr. Juan J. Garcia Blesa, Koordinator der EDELNet Graduate School Coordinator.

Lecture Abstract

Is the United States Constitution Too Protective of Speech?

The United States Constitution’s First Amendment provides for an exceedingly comprehensive protection of free speech. The theory behind such strong protection of speech is that people should be free to roam a broad “marketplace of ideas” and choose for themselves which ideas to keep and which others to discard. Only a few narrow exceptions will allow for Government to ban or punish speech – if, for example, the speech is causing a “clear and present danger” of substantial harm to other persons, the speech is unprotected. Otherwise, even the most odious speech – such as the racist hate speech of white supremacists – is protected.

These principles of protecting speech are currently being tested in the United States, where the election of Donald Trump to the presidency in November 2016 has emboldened white supremacists to come out of the shadows and express their racist hate in more public ways. This has led to a number of violent confrontations in the U.S. between white supremacists and counter-protestors; and President Trump on these and other occasions has failed to adequately condemn the racist speech. Some people argue that racist hate speech should no longer be protected under the First Amendment.

This lecture will describe the constitutional system of protections for speech that exists in the United States. It will also contrast the United States’ approach with that of other countries, including Germany, where such speech would not be allowed and can be punished. Finally, the lecture will discuss whether the U.S. should adopt a more restrictive interpretation of the First Amendment to allow for punishment of racist hate speech.

About Prof. Micheal A. Lawrence

Michael A. Lawrence is Foster Swift Professor of Constitutional Law at the Michigan State University College of Law and was the Chair of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Post-Graduate Legal Education. He has published several articles and books on constitutional and international law, the last of which is Model Problems and Outstanding Answers: Constitutional Law (with Kevin Saunders), Oxford University Press, 2013

Anja Wetter | 8.11.2017
FernUni-Logo FernUniversität in Hagen, 58084 Hagen, Telefon: +49 2331 987-01, E-Mail: fernuni@fernuni-hagen.de