Tuesday, August 05, 2008

but I will say this...

It is always remarkable to me how I'll get captivated by some new discrimination-defeating idea and think "awesome" and swing way off and consider abrogating the First Amendment, but then, I'll always swing back. I'm not necessarily an absolutist, but I'm quite strong on the First Amendment. Not necessarily with respect to workplace sexual harassment laws, mind you, but I tend to be seriously concerned with hate speech codes, and I once was very much an advocate of them. Similarly, I am having several reservations about the First Amendment issues raised by trolling. But again, if there's any sort of credible threat or illegal action, the First Amendment already has carved-out exceptions for "fighting words" and "threats" and the like. So I don't think there's much debate there for me, only between true absolutists and those who think the First Amendment may be circumscribed. But, just sayin'. I always come back to the First, but in the case of trolls, it's less about speech and more about norms. But this is not necessarily the case with respect to hate speech codes (content/viewpoint) or sexual harassment/hostile work environment cases (content). Much iffier, and I can't say why I vacillate so much more on the former than the latter, other than I read too much sexual harassment law to not think that the laws are a good idea, and if anything, should be more robust.


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