Heckler’s veto: NYC subway authority bans ads that might “provoke violence” « Hot Air: "The “fighting words” exception, as I’ve said before, amounts to a heckler’s veto to your freedom of speech. It’s pernicious in two ways. One: It makes your First Amendment rights contingent upon the sensitivities of others. If the object of your criticism is prone to responding violently, then it’s incumbent upon you to shut up and not offend them. A “right” that disappears when someone gets especially angry about your exercise of it ain’t much of a right. Two: In practice, it operates as moral sanction by the state for vigilantism. The point of the “fighting words” doctrine is to let the cops step in and arrest an offensive speaker before any violence goes down; it’s essentially a form of appeasement to the insulted party, signaling that they don’t have to do anything crazy because the state will punish their enemy for them."
'via Blog this'