Joyce Carol Oates: "It is delicate matter to adjudicate, even to oneself, where a literary/political sort of satire ends & something like 'hate crime' begins…"

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

That's what Oates tweeted today with regard to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Well, yes, it's delicate once you assume that speech that you see as religiously bigoted is a "crime."

But if you conclude—as American First Amendment law has rightly concluded—that expressing your views about politics or religion is not a crime, and that religions and members of religions are no more immune from criticism than any other ideologies, you've saved yourself a lot of "delicate … adjudicat[ion]."