In Response to Charlottesville, Cuomo Proposes Adding to Hate Crime Statute

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Abner Greene was quoted in the New York Law Journal about First Amendment issues raised by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to amend the state’s hate crimes law following events in Charlottesville.

According to two law professors, Cuomo’s proposals don’t raise any questions over free speech or the right to assemble.

Fordham University School of Law professor Abner Greene noted that if the state were trying to regulate hateful, racist speech it would raise First Amendment questions. But trying to regulate violence motivated by racism by adding harsher sentences, does not raise a First Amendment problem, he said, citing the 1993 Supreme Court decision in Wisconsin v. Mitchell, which held that enhanced penalties for racially motivated crimes doesn’t violate First Amendment rights.

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