taking united states supreme court’s decisions as the empirical basis and point of departure of this paper, my intention here is to approach a classical dilemma of free speech: the normative problem of how to handle with hate speech in a democratic system. Censoring this kind of speech prevents part of the demos to get into the public sphere. On the other hand, hate speech can seriously damage rights, opportunities and even physical integrity of minorities. By rejecting both comprehensive liberalization and complete ban of every of intolerant expressions, what i try to offer here is some reflection on normative guidelines to the regulation of this kind of speech.

freedom of speech; hate speech; supreme court; democracy

Fundação Getulio Vargas, Escola de Direito de São Paulo Rua Rocha, 233, 11º andar, 01330-000 São Paulo/SP Brasil, Tel.: (55 11) 3799 2172 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil