Hank Gates


This comment will address whether the Hate Crimes Prevention Act is unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment because it threatens to chill protected speech. Part II will outline the text of the House Bill 1592 as passed by the House of Representatives. Part III will outline the United States Supreme Court's overbreadth doctrine in its current form and the Supreme Court's major decisions on hate crime legislation in the past. Part IV will evaluate the potential dangers that the Act, in its current form, poses to protected speech. Ultimately, this comment concludes that Congress can draft hate crimes legislation to avoid chilling protected speech; however, lawmakers and legal commentators have been overly dismissive of the threats that the Act poses in its current form.