On January 6, 2021, the United States Capitol was stormed by a mob attempting to overturn the outcome of the Presidential election. Five people died and more than 140 people were injured. Some claim the mob’s actions were criminally provoked by inflammatory words spoken during a rally before the attack. Contrary to the belief of some that “It is a free country; I can say whatever I want,” First Amendment protection is limited, especially in cases of incitement to lawlessness. But when does speech cross the line?
Course members will discuss these boundaries and various theories of free speech. We will also consider limits the government has to control prohibited speech through censorship and time, place, and manner restrictions.