Free Speech vs. Hate Speech: The Changing Contours of Free Expression
Speaker: Frederick M. Lawrence, Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School, Professor of Politics at Brandeis University, and former President of Brandeis
The proper boundaries of free expression have been severely challenged by the rise of hate speech, especially in the context of social media. How do we draw lines when three core values—free expression, protecting members of the community, and eradicating unlawful discrimination—clash?
Can we protect free speech in public spaces and still protect against genuine threatening behavior, and speak out against racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic activities?
Frederick M. Lawrence is Senior Research Scholar at Yale Law School, Professor of Politics at Brandeis University, and the former president of Brandeis. An accomplished scholar, teacher, and attorney, he is one of the nation’s leading experts on civil rights, free expression, and bias crimes. He has written, lectured, and testified widely on civil rights crimes and is the author of Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law.
Prior to Brandeis, Lawrence was dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School. His legal career was distinguished by service as an assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, where he became chief of the Civil Rights Unit.