Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors went on MSNBC Monday afternoon to discuss the fallout from the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend and President Donald Trump's reaction to it.
Cullors said that her group and others like it are fighting for equality, whereas white nationalists are trying to take away others' rights.
“Hate speech, which is what we're seeing coming out of white nationalist groups,” Cullors claimed, “is not protected under First Amendment rights.”
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled two months ago in Matal v. Tam that a federal trademark law banning offensive names was unconstitutional, as Independent Journal Review reported.
In the opinion, Justice Samuel Alito wrote:
[The idea that the government may restrict] speech expressing ideas that offend … strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express “the thought that we hate.”
Additionally, Justice Anthony Kennedy noted:
A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society.
This ruling was cited in a Washington Post column titled, “Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment,” authored by Eugene Volokh, who “teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and an intensive editing workshop at UCLA School of Law,” according to his author bio.