The Volokh Conspiracy

Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent


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…"


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]."