Skip to main content

TRI In The News

Weekend Rallies Protected by First Amendment, Including Torch Burning

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- The First Amendment, at its core, protects all forms of speech. That includes hate speech.

So while people are taking issue with the rallies this weekend in Charlottesville over the Robert E. Lee Statue, under the First Amendment, those rallies are protected even from city permits.

"Under the First Amendment, free speech is free," explained John Whitehead from The Rutherford Institute.

Whitehead said the creation of the First Amendment was to empower people to speak up, and protect people from their own government.

"The government cannot target one specific group or several groups and say 'You don't have the right to speech because we don't agree,'" he said.

According to Whitehead, even though certain forms of speech make people uncomfortable like hate speech, it is still protected by the Constitution.

"You can say 'I hate this. I hate that. I don't like these people.' Whatever, but that's protected," Whitehead said.