How to Defend the Constitution When the KKK Comes to Town
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
As a law professor, I usually explain free speech to my students by talking about when the Nazis tried to march in Skokie, Illinois in the late 1970s.
As many Americans are aware, a great deal of what most would call hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. The Nazis in Skokie are the classic case. In 1977, the National Socialist Party of America proposed to march in this predominantly Jewish community, home to many Holocaust survivors. The ACLU defended their right to wear Nazi uniforms and display swastikas, and courts upheld that right. The Nazis won (though they ultimately decided to march elsewhere).