What's a direct incitement speech?

Does it have any relevance to any US supreme court cases. I know it's in the first amendment...But that's about as far as I know...lol.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The above answer makes a very good point about Schenk v. U.S. - in that case the majority opinion was written by Justice Holmes, and it indicated that a speech was not protected by the 1st if it presented a clear and present danger to health and public welfare, regardless of how likely this danger was. This was the standard through several Supreme Court rulings, until a dissent by the same justice, Justice Holmes, in Abrahms v. U.S. (this Holmes dissent is one of the most famous in history, by the way) in which he changed his mind, and modified the test to the ''clear and imminent danger'' test. This is the standard we still use today, and it is more strict than the ''clear and present'' danger test. Basically, a speech has to directly incite a dangerous action; there has to be a good chance that the speech will actually cause danger on a notable scale.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, this has MUCH relevance to U.S. Supreme Court cases and DOES deal with the First Amendment Freedom of Speech! Although "direct incitement speech" it is not detailed explicitly in the First Amendment, the Supreme Court has ruled on what type of speech is NOT protected by the Constitution. Direct incitement speech is one of them...

    One of the most popularly noted cases is Schenk v. United States in which the Supreme Court rules that any speech which creates a "clear and present danger" is speech that is NOT protected by the First Amendment. The example used in this case is yelling fire in a crowded theater. If yelling fire was to incite panic and cause people to become injured, the person who yelled fire would be liable.

  • 1 decade ago

    Oh, you DO know it's in the First Amendment. Where, pray tell, does the word "incitement" appear?

    Do you even know what "incitement" means, my dear? No? It means "to cause to be, particularly in the case of rebellion or insurrection."

    If I were to stand up before a crowd and tell them to get weapons, kill policemen and soldiers sent to subdue us, and take whatever we want from the stores and homes around us, that is called "incitement to riot," and is illegal for obvious reasons, even though in the abstract it is an "abridgement" (which means "an exception") of "freedom of speech." Whether or not the crowd actually began to rampage is beside the point. I was trying to "incite" them to do so, it is "incitement speech," and is NOT in the First (or any) Amendment.

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