Wisconsin v. Mitchell: The End of Hate Crimes or Just the End of the First Amendment
Stozek, Lisa M.
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This note examines Wisconsin v. Mitchell, wherein the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution does not forbid "hate crime statutes" which lengthen the sentence of a criminal defendant for committing a bias-motivated crime. The author identifies a long line of First Amendment cases that are arguably contradictory to the Court's holding and examines the potential impact the decision's limit on free expression may have on society and free speech. The author concludes that while the Court's goal of suppressing hate crimes was admirable, the decision treads dangerously close to criminalizing speech and thought.