CNN's Chris Cuomo gets Twitter-spanked after boneheaded First Amendment gaffe

His claim that the "fighting words" exception applies to hate speech made for "fighting words" on Twitter

Scott Eric Kaufman
May 6, 2015 7:49PM (UTC)

It is increasingly difficult for those who identify on the left and right to find anything they agree upon, but this morning CNN anchor and law school graduate Chris Cuomo provided those across the political spectrum with some common ground.

Cuomo was hosting a Twitter conversation about the constitutionality of hate speech and wrote:


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First Amendment experts, self-styled and actual and of all political stripes, jumped in to inform him of his wrongness:

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Cuomo replied:

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That word, "chaplinsky," refers to Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, in which the Supreme Court decided that some speech -- like "fighting words," or other statements that incite violence -- aren't protected by the First Amendment. Unfortunately for Cuomo:


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Of course, comity between foes of such long-standing must, by necessity, be short-lived, as Breitbart's John Nolte felt the need to mock special needs kids:


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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Chris Cuomo Ed Morrissey First Amendment Glenn Greenwald John Nolte Popehat Twitter

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