For three quarters of a century I have been angered by many events that centered around the exercise of free speech as guaranteed by the American Constitution. Most were personal events that occurred after I had gotten to voting age and had to endure what I considered bad language that not only was often physically impossible but also un-civil. These offended my perception of what communication should be in any civilized society.
Then there were general public exercises of offensive behavior and speech that seemed to violate existing social norms. Included in this list, was the burning of the American Flag and the behavior of the Westboro Baptist Church, of Topeka, Kansas, at the funerals of fallen servicemen.
I admit to a visceral anger at such behavior, and the wish for the power to put such activities to an end.
On reflection, while there was great danger in any preemptive prohibition on speech and/or action that did not encourage actual physical harm to others, it seemed that in cases where a case could clearly be made for damage being inflicted on innocents or others those who were injured should have the right to restitution.
Logic suggests that the courts, SCOTUS included, have wrongly and carelessly expanded the definition of "free" in free speech to include freedom from consequences of that exercise. A careful consideration of the concept of free speech seems to clearly mean that the founding fathers wished to prevent the preemptive prohibition of any person from stating a case on any subject that they found compelling.
There is no action in this world that does not have consequences for those committing actions...or speaking words. ONLY in America are people allowed to insult others, call them vile names and, in the case of politics, actually lie about accusations and behavior.
In any moral sense, this is wrong. Certainly any person can comment or accuse, but isn't it just common sense that there needs to be truthfulness in the comment or accusation? Absent truthfulness, shouldn't any person...rich, famous, poor, unknown...be able to call any such commenter or accuser to make the victim whole? What social, moral or governmental purpose is served by allowing reprehensible language.
Note that I see such action as being in civil courts, and never as being based on statutory laws. This should never be in the criminal realm. Why? Because then the government is given control of determining what is acceptable or not.
I abhor the passing of "Hate Crime" and "Hate Speech" legislation. The activities specified are already against the law and the courts have jurisdiction and those engaging in such actions can be punished for their actions. Frankly, the motivation for abhorrent behavior is not of importance and certainly should not the subject of governmental definition and intuition. As far as speech is concerned, the Constitution is clear on it being allowed. I certainly would allow action to recover provable injury from such speech...as long as it was in civil court and the judgment made by a jury.
Hate Speech statutes seem only to be a means for the Federal Government to "pile on" for largely political purposes when some crimes are committed. That is not reason to create more power and put it in the hands of the level of government most removed from the people.