Constitutional Law: Protection of Individual Rights: First Amendment: Regulation of Speech Content: Fighting Words and Symbolic Speech

    • Fighting Words. Insults, likely to provoke an ordinary person to commit an act of violence.
      • RAV. Statute which prohibited fighting words which provoked violence on the basis of race, religion, or gender = unconstitutional because statute must be viewpoint neutral.
        • A fighting words statute designed to punish only particular viewpoints (i.e. on basis of race, religion, gender is not viewpoint neutral).
    • Symbolic Speech. Speech where the medium itself is the message. Free expression consisting of non-verbal actions.
      • Apply strict scrutiny.
        • Flag-burning is protected symbolic speech. It’s unconstitutional to ban flag burning.